Republicans worry Trump too vocal
Republicans are expressing growing concern that President Trump’s voluble communication style is becoming a liability that could get him into trouble at a time when controversy swirls around the White House.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) during a Sunday show appearance expressed frustration over Trump discussing the FBI’s investigation into Russian election interference, saying it detracts from his agenda. A special counsel continues the probe into Russia’s meddling in the United States presidential election.
“You may be the first president in history to go down because you can’t stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet, would clear you,” Graham said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Graham’s comments came hours after Trump on Twitter said it was “cowardly” for former FBI Director James Comey to leak written memos of their conversations.
“It’s frustrating for me to want to help a man who I think will do big things no other Republican would do, like immigration,” Graham added.
Comey last week testified that Trump during a private meeting asked him to “let go” of the bureau’s probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump’s lawyer denied this claim in a statement following Comey’s testimony.
The day after Comey’s testimony, Trump called Comey “a leaker” and said he felt “total and complete vindication” after the former FBI chief appeared in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump said.
Ari Fleischer, who served as former President George W. Bush’s press secretary, also cautioned that Trump should “stop talking” because it could lead to “a perjury trap.”
“Advice 4 POTUS: You have not been vindicated. U won’t be unless Bob Mueller says so. Stop talking. You’re heading into a giant perjury trap,” Fleischer wrote on Twitter Sunday morning.
Republican lawmakers in the wake of Comey’s testimony have described Trump’s conversations with the former FBI director as “inappropriate,” but stopped short of saying the president obstructed justice.
“So this looks more like an inappropriate conversation than obstruction,” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told CBS’s John Dickerson on Sunday.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) also said Trump should not have discussed the FBI’s investigation into Flynn with Comey.
“The conversation should not have occurred. There’s no doubt about it,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
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