Tester: Talk of Trump impeachment 'not appropriate'
© Greg Nash

Democratic Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Fed chief lays out risks of trade war Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (Mont.) is hitting back at the progressive wing of his party, saying that talk of impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE is inappropriate.

"I just think it's silly talk," Tester told HBO's "Vice News Tonight" when asked about calls for Trump's impeachment from some Democrats. "I mean, I think it's not appropriate, at all. I don't think the investigation that's been done on Russia — the information isn't back yet. And, it's way way way way way premature."
 
He added that the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, and potential collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, is still ongoing.
 
"Once you get the facts then understand what those facts are really saying and then hold people accountable," Tester said in the interview that aired this week. "And I don't think ... what he did is going to be an impeachable offense, if he did anything."
 
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Tester is running for reelection in November in a state that Trump won by more than 20 percentage points in 2016. He's one of 10 Senate Democrats defending a seat in a state carried by the president.
 
Trump is heading to Montana for a political rally on Thursday in support of Tester's Republican opponent, Matt Rosendale.
 
Tester votes with Trump less than several other red-state Democrats considered top targets in November, including Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Morrisey accuses Manchin of 'lying' to Trump, attacks ‘liberal’ record The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Bipartisan group introduces retirement savings legislation in Senate Fed chief lays out risks of trade war MORE (N.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Fed chief lays out risks of trade war Doug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee MORE (Ind.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Senate Dems lock in million in TV airtime Why does Congress keep playing political games on FBI oversight? MORE (Mo.) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Hillicon Valley: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | Sparks fly at hearing on social media | First House Republican backs net neutrality bill | Meet the DNC's cyber guru | Sinclair defiant after merger setback Senate Dems rip Trump after Putin news conference MORE (Fla.), according to tracking by FiveThirtyEight.
 
Trump and Republicans homed in on the Montana Senate seat after Tester publicly discussed allegations against Ronny Jackson, Trump's pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jackson withdrew his nomination amid backlash over the allegations, which included accusations of drunken incidents.
 
Trump warned that Tester would have a "big price to pay" for the allegations against Jackson and ultimately called for Tester to resign. The accusations sparked a Defense Department investigation, and Tester noted that the allegations were raised by more than two dozen individuals.
 
"Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral/Doctor Ron Jackson are proving false," Trump tweeted in April. "The Secret Service is unable to confirm (in fact they deny) any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family. Tester should resign."
 
Tester, during the "Vice News" interview, brushed off Trump's call for him to resign, noting that he was "still a U.S. senator."
 
He added while Trump hasn't been consistent on policy, he still trusts the president.  
 
"When he came after me on Ronny Jackson, he was straight up about it," Tester said. "He didn't stab me in the back. ... He attacked me to my face. I'm okay with that."