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

Democratic Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal How the border deal came together MORE (Mont.) is hitting back at the progressive wing of his party, saying that talk of impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall 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) ManchinOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal Gabbard cites ‘concerns’ about ‘vagueness’ of Green New Deal MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (N.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Ind.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillPoll: 33% of Kentucky voters approve of McConnell McCaskill: Lindsey Graham 'has lost his mind' Trey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor MORE (Mo.) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William Nelson2020 party politics in Puerto Rico There is no winning without Latinos as part of your coalition Dem 2020 candidates court Puerto Rico as long nomination contest looms 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."