Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today broke with Donald Trump, and called for a Senate investigation into Russian interference in the election.
McConnell went out of his way to explicitly defend the CIA, and its agents.
This is seen by many as a direct rebuke of Trump from the top Republican in the Senate. Trump has repeatedly demeaned the CIA, including this morning when Trump suggested that the CIA was part of a partisan conspiracy to undermine his presidency.
Republicans have apparently had enough.
This is an interesting development. I’ve been saying for a while that the key to taking Trump down is the GOP Congress. Republicans in Congress don’t like Trump. And they were willing to throw Trump overboard when his polls were slumping to such a degree that it hurt their re-election chances. All Democrats have to do, and it’s not a small task, is hurt Trump in the polls to the degree that it again worries Republicans about their survival. Then they’ll drop Crazy Trump like a Russian spud.
And that already seems to be happening, with McConnell now joining McCain, Rubio and Graham in expressing concern about Russia hacking the election; and endorsing the Senate’s own investigation.
It’s also interesting that McConnell implicitly rebuked Trump by praising the CIA. Clearly Trump’s accusation that the CIA is a den of traitors bothered someone with influence on the Republican party. Trump, who has no political or Washington experience, is walking into a buzzsaw. It takes a lot of experience to make Washington work for you. Trump doesn’t have it. The people he’s attacking do.
There’s another point as well. The Republicans aren’t traitors. They love their country. I was a Republican, a long time ago. And last thing Republicans would tolerate is the Russians gaining a foothold in our government. Far too many Republicans are far too big of patriots to let that happen. And while some, like McConnell, were willing to look the other way for a while — McConnell was briefed on the Russia problem months ago, and poo-pooed it — others have clearly scared McConnell into acting.
Russia may be strong with Team Trump, but it’s not strong with Team America. We need to keep hitting Trump on his weird and troubling allegiance to Russia’s national interest, because today clearly shows that it’s the GOP’s soft spot.
Now, McConnell and the GOP will surely scrub this investigation for anything too damaging to Trump, but it’s a step in the right direction. And that makes this a good day.
America 1, Trump 0.