Trump gives shoutout to Doug Collins ahead of next phase of impeachment hearings

Trump gives shoutout to Doug Collins ahead of next phase of impeachment hearings
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE on Monday praised Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules This week: Raucous rules fight, opening arguments in impeachment trial White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team MORE (Ga.), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and the president's preferred potential replacement for outgoing Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonOvernight Health Care: New drug price hikes set stage for 2020 fight | Conservative group to spend M attacking Pelosi drug plan | Study finds Medicaid expansion improved health in Southern states New Georgia senator takes spot on health committee Loeffler sworn in to Georgia seat MORE (R-Ga.), as the House moves into its third phase of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

"Great job by @RepDougCollins of Georgia over the weekend in representing the Republican Party, and myself, against the Impeachment Hoax!" Trump tweeted on Monday.

Collins forcefully defended the president and blasted Democrats’ handling of the impeachment process during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend. The Georgia Republican called for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial The Memo: Day One shows conflicting narratives on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) — who has been at the forefront of impeachment efforts since the formal inquiry was launched — to testify before the Judiciary Committee, noting he will almost definitely be on the list of the GOP’s requested witnesses. His comments come just ahead of the Intelligence Committee's expected release of a report on its findings throughout the probe, which is expected to be sent to the Judiciary Committee ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I question his, you know, the motives of why he's doing it. It's easy to hide behind a report,” he told host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceTrump lawyer: Abuse of power, obstruction articles 'have not fared well' Jeffries: Calling new witnesses for Senate trial part of following the 'Clinton model' Graham: Immediate dismissal of impeachment articles 'dead for practical purposes' MORE.

“It's easy to hide behind a gavel and Intelligence Committee behind-closed-door hearings, but it's going to be another thing to actually get up and have to answer questions about what his staff knew," Collins said, "how he knew, what he did about the whistleblower report, his interactions that he's had with Ukraine, the other things that he's had over time in this process and also why he has still not released documents to our committee and reports to our committee that we need to actually proceed in our committee of Judiciary Committee, which is the committee of impeachment. I have a question. Why are they hiding this stuff from us?”

Trump’s compliment also comes shortly before Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is expected to announce who will be appointed to replace Isakson, who is slated to vacate his seat at the end of the year after enduring a series of health complications.

Recent reports indicate Kemp will select business executive Kelly Loeffler, putting Kemp at odds with the president. 

Kemp recently attended a tense meeting at the White House where the president advocated for Collins — one of his most vocal supporters in the lower chamber — to obtain the position, The Wall Street Journal first reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

Collins is seen by some as a potential key ally in voting against impeachment if it moves to the upper chamber if he’s appointed to replace the outgoing senator.

Kemp recently asserted in a tweet that any potential appointee to fill Isakson’s seat will align with Trump on key policy areas.

Collins has also not ruled out the possibility of running for the upper chamber if he is not appointed to the role.