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House Republicans call impeachment hearing 'boring,' dismiss Taylor testimony as hearsay

Top Republicans in the House dismissed the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE as boring and said they don't believe any new information emerged that would justify impeaching the president.

They brushed off a key piece of testimony from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, that Democrats said was cause for alarm as mere hearsay. Taylor testified Wednesday that a staffer told him U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland said Trump was more interested in investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE and his son, Hunter, than in Ukraine.

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“Nope [none of the new information was interesting], and that's a good thing for us is nothing is new, nothing different the stuff we've heard before,” Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeEdward Snowden, the media, and the Espionage Act Overnight Defense: Top US general meets with Taliban | House panel launches probe into cyberattack | Army to issue face masks for soldiers in 2021 House panels launch probe into massive cyberattack that breached federal agencies MORE (R-Texas), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told The Hill. 

“There are no smoking guns, there are no bombshells. And that's going to continue to be the case," he said. "I thought today was probably boring for the American people to watch. I bet they tuned out after watching it and I bet they're less interested in watching Friday's than they were in watching today.”

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsAgency official says Capitol riot hit close to home for former Transportation secretary Chao Republicans wrestle over removing Trump Pressure grows on Trump to leave MORE (R-N.C.), one of Trump’s strongest allies in the House, said he doesn’t find the new developments concerning.

“You know, it's amazing he [Taylor] prepared for hours to come up here and all of a sudden, voila, he gets this miraculous intervention from one of his staffers that reminds him. Does it concern me? I think what happens is when we start to look at the facts, everybody has their impression of what truth is,” he said during a break in the hearing. 

“Just like all of you as reporters have your impression of what truth is, the ultimate judge will be the American people. And I think most of them will see what I'm seeing in that room — it's reporters and people in the audience who are yawning because this is all about a policy difference between the president of the United States and a few people at the State Department.”

GOP lawmakers largely said they felt their preparations — which included a mock hearing on Tuesday — paid off, with several members arguing they prevailed over Democrats. 

"I think everybody in there practicing, it turned out very good," one GOP lawmaker told The Hill. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyGOP divided over Liz Cheney's future Democrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help Pelosi suggests criminal charges for any lawmaker who helped with Capitol riot MORE (R-Calif.) said he is satisfied with his decision to temporarily move House Oversight and Reform Ranking Member Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanMcCarthy won't back effort to oust Cheney Wyoming GOP shares 'outcry' it has received about Cheney's impeachment vote The Memo: Historic vote leaves Trump more isolated than ever MORE (R-Ohio) onto the House Intelligence Committee for the duration of impeachment proceedings, praising the Ohio Republican’s performance during the hearing.  

“Jordan did really well, I thought Caster did really well, I thought it turned out exactly as we wanted it to," he told The Hill. 

While Republicans said they are pleased with the outcome of the hearing, Ratcliffe said they will continue to work to improve their strategy as the inquiry continues.  

“We want to be smart and strategic and so we'll look and see what we did well and what we can do better. And those things, you know will be important and I'm sure we'll adjust and shape accordingly,” he said. “But again, we feel like we had a really good day given the stakes. Everyone knows that Republicans have one or two hands tied behind their back under the way this thing is operating and that was clear today in terms of the unwillingness of Democrats to engage in or entertain any of the motions or debates that we raised that we think are important."