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Trump allies go on the offensive against whistleblower complaint, Democrats

Trump allies go on the offensive against whistleblower complaint, Democrats

Republicans vocally defended President TrumpDonald TrumpGaetz was denied meeting with Trump: CNN Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Police in California city declare unlawful assembly amid 'white lives matter' protest MORE on Sunday morning during sometimes combative interviews after a whistleblower complaint centered on his interactions with Ukraine's leader contributed to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhite House races clock to beat GOP attacks Sunday shows - Infrastructure dominates Liz Cheney says allegations against Gaetz are 'sickening,' refuses to say if he should resign MORE's (D-Calif.) announcement of an impeachment inquiry.

Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGaetz hires legal counsel amid DOJ probe Georgia lieutenant governor: Giuliani election claims helped lead to new voting law Rep. Lee Zeldin announces bid for New York governor MORE, Trump’s personal attorney, told ABC’s George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosSenate Republican targets infrastructure package's effect on small business job creators Energy secretary: 'We don't want to use past definitions of infrastructure' Christie: Biden lying about Georgia voting bill MORE that the complaint is "hearsay" and "unreliable."

"I am defending my client the best way I know how," he said. "This is not about getting Joe BidenJoe BidenFederal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Biden to meet Monday with bipartisan lawmakers about infrastructure Jill Biden gives shout out to Champ, Major on National Pet Day MORE in trouble. This is about proving that Donald Trump was framed by the Democrats."    

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye two-part infrastructure push; Michigan coronavirus cases surge Cruz on Boehner: 'I wear with pride his drunken, bloviated scorn' MORE (R-Ohio), one of Trump’s staunchest allies in the Democratic-majority House, took to CNN’s “State of the Union” to defend the White House placing the transcript of Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a secret server, calling it a necessary step against leaks.

Jordan also defended the contents of the call, in which Trump tried to persuade Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

“That doesn’t alarm you?” CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperArkansas governor says 'divisive' Trump attacks on GOP officials are 'unhelpful' Arkansas governor: Veto on trans youth bill was a 'message of compassion and conservatism' Buttigieg: Lawmakers can call infrastructure package 'whatever they like' but 'it's good policy' MORE asked Jordan, who responded, “It’s not OK because he didn’t — but he didn't do that.”

When Tapper referenced the White House summary of the call backing up the CNN host's characterization of it, Jordan responded, “You guys don’t read things in context.”

And Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s most vocal defenders in the Senate, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that he has "zero problems" with the call. 

Reminded by host Margaret Brennan that the whistleblower complaint, which Graham called “hearsay,” is based on information the person obtained from White House officials, Graham said the focus should be on finding out who the officials were.

“The whistleblower says, ‘I have no direct knowledge.’ ... Who are these people, and what are they up to?” Graham asked. “Salem witch trials have more due process than this.”

White House policy adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerDemocrat: Ex-Trump aide Miller should be jailed for human rights violations Trump endorses Mo Brooks for Senate in Alabama Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits MORE clashed with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBiden to meet Monday with bipartisan lawmakers about infrastructure Buttigieg on exaggerated infrastructure jobs estimate: 'I should have been more precise' Texas governor: Biden actions on guns just 'show' MORE, saying the whistleblower complaint “drips with condescension, righteous indignation and contempt for the president.” 

Miller, however, refused to answer Wallace’s questions about why Trump used his private attorneys to reach out to Ukrainian officials.

Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, said the whistleblower complaint and call summary indicated the necessity of the impeachment inquiry.

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyPassage of FASTER Act is critical for food allergy community Sunday shows: Biden's border woes, gun control dominate Murphy, Toomey say background check bill could pass Senate MORE (D-Conn.) told Brennan, “Rudy Giuliani is attempting to speak for the United States government.”

“You can understand how the Ukrainians are confused when the personal attorney for the president is coming to them asking them to help destroy one of his political rivals,” he added.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: Intel heads to resume threats hearing scrapped under Trump | New small business coalition to urge action on antitrust policy | Amazon backs corporate tax hike to pay for infrastructure Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden tasks Harris on border; news conference today MORE (D-Calif.) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that an agreement for the whistleblower to testify had been reached. He added that he hoped the testimony would happen “very soon,” saying the committee was still ensuring that the whistleblower’s attorneys would get clearance to accompany them and put protective logistics in place.

Schiff was noncommittal on whether Giuliani would be called to testify.

"I don't want to commit myself to that at this point," he said. "We certainly have to do a lot of work to see what Giuliani has been doing in Ukraine."

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesDemocrats vow to go 'bold' — with or without GOP Anger over anti-Asian violence, rhetoric rips through Capitol Democratic majority shrinks, but finds unity MORE (D-N.Y.) also told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he predicted some Republicans would eventually support the impeachment inquiry.

“The House is a separate and co-equal branch. We don’t work for this president,” Jeffries said. “We have a responsibility to serve as a check and balance, and these issues are serious.”

Sunday morning also saw the release of a CBS News-YouGov survey that found 55 percent of Americans support an impeachment inquiry, compared to 45 percent who disapprove. Thirty-five percent said they strongly approve.