Murphy blasts GOP on whistleblower response: 'We're watching this country turn into a banana republic'

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (D-Conn.) knocked Republicans on Monday over a largely muted response to a whistleblower complaint reportedly linked to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE

"This is an extraordinary moment. We're watching this country turn into a banana republic. Republicans better be careful what they wish for because a Democratic president could use the same tools that Donald Trump is using to turn the White House into just one big extension of his reelection campaign," Murphy told reporters. 

"This is just a head shaking moment for me that Republicans don't give a damn about the national security of this country and are willing to let the president get away with this fundamental corruption. If that is the direction that they take—attacking the whistleblower, trying to cover up this corruption, it's a really, really sad day for the country," Murphy added. 


Murphy's comments come after he was told about Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Overnight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Senate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges MORE (R-Texas) questioning if the whistleblower at the center of the current scandal is a "leaker." 

"Is it a whistleblower or a leaker? I don't know which," Cornyn said, asked about the whistleblower complaint and if it should be turned over to lawmakers. 

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE (R-S.C.) while urging Trump to be transparent about a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has also called for an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes Obama cautions 2020 hopefuls against going too far left MORE and his son, Hunter Biden. 

"I think the best way to do this, quite frankly, and that’s a good question, is for somebody independent of politics to ... look, it doesn’t have to be a special counsel, but to look at the substance of that interview. Was any money paid to the Bidens, Hunter Biden? What was it paid for? Was there any interaction between the prosecutor being dismissed and these transactions?" Graham told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday.  

Several Republican senators declined to directly weigh in on Monday, arguing that they didn't have enough information about the complaint and the allegation that Trump or his lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiNew witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes Giuliani associate said he was on a 'secret mission' for Trump: report Pelosi: Trump tweets on Yovanovitch show his 'insecurity as an imposter' MORE attempted to persuade Zelensky to investigate Biden or his son.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Warren promises gradual move toward 'Medicare for All' in first 100 days MORE (R-Ky.) knocked Democrats for trying to "politicize" the complaint, but sidestepped weighing in on the substance of the allegation against Trump. He noted that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrNorth Carolina poised to pass new congressional maps Saagar Enjeti claims Pelosi's impeachment strategy could hurt 2020 Democrats The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi accuses Trump of 'bribery' in Ukraine dealings MORE (R-N.C.) is trying to set up a closed-door briefing with the intelligence community inspector general. 

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHillicon Valley: Twitter shares more details on political ad rules | Supreme Court takes up Google-Oracle fight | Pentagon chief defends Microsoft cloud contract House, Senate announce agreement on anti-robocall bill Senate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges MORE (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, similarly pointed to the committee as a starting point for lawmakers. 

"My understanding is that Burr is trying to get the inspector general and the DNI to come up in front of his committee. I would prefer because of some of the sensitivity of the national security implications involved in all of this that he started there," Thune said. 

Pressed if he thought the administration should hand over the complaint, he added that they should "proceed with caution." 

"I would hope that whatever information is available that is in possession of the inspector general, of the DNI that we would get access to that," he said.