Administration

Trump hits Amash after congressman doubles down on impeachment talk

President Trump on Monday bashed Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) as a “loser” and suggested he may be looking to run for higher office by accusing the president of engaging in impeachable conduct.

“I’ve known him, and he’s been against Trump from the beginning,” the president told reporters outside the White House when asked about Amash’s comments.

“He probably wants to run for some other office,” he continued. “I don’t think he’ll do very well. He’s been a loser for a long time. Rarely votes for Republicans, and personally I think he’s not much.”

{mosads}Trump had previously addressed Amash’s calls for impeachment on Twitter, but Monday marked his first in-person comments.

Amash on Saturday became the first Republican lawmaker to say Trump engaged in “impeachable conduct.” The House Freedom Caucus member concluded after reading special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report that it showed “multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice.”

He doubled down on Monday, seeking to refute a number of prominent defenses Trump and his allies have used to downplay the president’s behavior as illustrated in Mueller’s report.

“People who say there were no underlying crimes and therefore the president could not have intended to illegally obstruct the investigation—and therefore cannot be impeached—are resting their argument on several falsehoods,” Amash tweeted.

Amash has been met with overwhelming scorn from his GOP colleagues.

Trump has lashed out at the congressman, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Sunday suggested Amash made the claim to get attention, noting his tendency to buck the party on legislative votes. 

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told reporters Tuesday that Amash was “dead wrong” with his interpretations.

Michigan state Rep. Jim Lower (R) said Monday morning he would challenge Amash in a GOP primary for the 3rd Congressional District nomination, citing the impeachment comments among his reasons.

Amash, who has represented the district since 2011, was critical of Trump during the 2016 campaign and has raised concerns about the administration’s policies and rhetoric in the time since.

The congressman was asked earlier this year about whether he would consider seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for the presidency in 2020, and he declined to rule it out.

“I never rule out anything,” Amash said. “That’s not on my radar right now, but I think that it is important that we have someone in there that is presenting a vision for America that is different from what these two parties are presenting.”

Tags Donald Trump Justin Amash Kevin McCarthy Robert Mueller Steve Scalise
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