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

Democratic Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterCBS Poll: Missouri, Montana Senate races in dead heats Dems play waiting game with Collins and Murkowski Watchdog groups to file complaint against Montana candidate alleging coordination with NRA MORE (Mont.) is hitting back at the progressive wing of his party, saying that talk of impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' 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) ManchinThe Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world Kavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world Kavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday MORE (N.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyThe Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world Kavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday MORE (Ind.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan senators unveil proposal to crack down on surprise medical bills The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly MORE (Mo.) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Kavanaugh controversy consumes Washington | Kavanaugh slated to testify Monday | Allegations shake up midterms Florida governor booed out of restaurant over red tide algae issues Juan Williams: America warms up to socialism 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."