GOP rep giving Trump credit for Republicans' reversal on ethics office

GOP rep giving Trump credit for Republicans' reversal on ethics office
© Greg Nash

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said late Tuesday that President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOPINION: Dear media, Americans don't care about Obama's legacy Make America’s classroom and workplaces safe again Preet Bharara emailed DOJ about phone call from Trump: report MORE “deserves a lot of credit” for House Republicans ditching a plan to weaken the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).

“I think he deserves a lot of the credit. Look, I think it’s absolutely the right thing to do,” Cole told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.” 

“There's bipartisan concern that the outside Ethics Committee, frankly, has not worked very well and has incorrectly accused a lot of members of wrongdoing who were later exonerated.” 

House Republicans changed course after Trump criticized their priorities after they voted to advance sweeping changes to the OCE, an independent oversight agency created by the House.

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"With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance,” the president-elect wrote on Twitter, including the hashtag #DTS for his campaign slogan “drain the swamp.” 

Cole said he would have supported the original move by House Republicans, arguing it would have reformed and strengthened the agency, but he agreed with Trump on the measure's timing. 

“The president-elect is right. Let’s focus on the first things first — repeal of ObamaCare, tax reform, regulatory relief. Those really are the big issues. We’ll get to this one in due time,” Cole said.