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

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyGraham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats ramp up pressure for infrastructure deal amid time crunch MORE (D-Conn.) knocked Republicans on Monday over a largely muted response to a whistleblower complaint reportedly linked to President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic On The Money: Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban | Trump attorney says he will fight release of tax returns Lack of transatlantic cooperation on trade threatens global climate change goals 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 CornynBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on 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 GrahamGraham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate Graham says he has COVID-19 'breakthrough' infection Graham, Cuellar press Biden to name border czar 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 BidenRussia says 24 diplomats asked by U.S. to leave by September Biden discusses Canadian citizens detained in China with Trudeau Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic 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 GiulianiGiuliani rips Ukraine investigation: 'I committed no crime' Capitol insurrection hearing exposes Trumpworld delusions DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's riot lawsuit MORE attempted to persuade Zelensky to investigate Biden or his son.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban | Trump attorney says he will fight release of tax returns Graham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate McConnell warns Democrats against 'artificial timeline' for infrastructure deal 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 BurrSenate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill MORE (R-N.C.) is trying to set up a closed-door briefing with the intelligence community inspector general. 

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGraham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate Key Senate Republican praises infrastructure deal Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet 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.