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 John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS 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 PelosiCummings to lie in state at the Capitol House Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union —Dem wants more changes to Pelosi drug pricing bill | Ebola outbreak wanes, but funding lags | Johnson & Johnson recalls batch of baby powder after asbestos traces found MORE's (D-Calif.) announcement of an impeachment inquiry.

Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani asked State Dept. to grant visa for ex-Ukraine official at center of Biden allegations: report Overnight Energy: Trump taps deputy energy secretary to replace Perry | Praises pick Dan Brouillette as 'total professional' | Perry denies quid pro quo over Ukraine Ex-Watergate prosecutor says evidence in impeachment inquiry 'clearly' points to Trump MORE, Trump’s personal attorney, told ABC’s George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosKudlow: 'I don't honestly know' if Trump was joking about China investigating Bidens The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's impeachment woes mount Jordan refuses to say whether Trump asking China for investigation was appropriate 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 BidenTrump knocks Romney as 'Democrat secret asset' in new video Giuliani asked State Dept. to grant visa for ex-Ukraine official at center of Biden allegations: report Perry won't comply with subpoena in impeachment inquiry MORE in trouble. This is about proving that Donald Trump was framed by the Democrats."    

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTestimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Former Ukraine envoy unexpectedly returns to Capitol Hill 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 TapperBiden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' White House officials stand by Syria withdrawal, sanctions delay amid bipartisan pushback Kasich to Congress: 'Look in the mirror at how you want to be remembered' 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 GrahamGraham says he shares Kurdish 'concerns' over cease-fire Majority of Americans believe Trump's Syria move has damaged US reputation: poll Senate GOP braces for impeachment trial 'roller coaster' 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 MillerThe Memo: Drip, drip of revelations damages Trump Trump says acting Homeland Security chief McAleenan will step down Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases MORE clashed with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBaier, Bream, Hemmer, Hume, Wallace among interim anchors to fill Shep Smith's 3 PM slot Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage White House officials stand by Syria withdrawal, sanctions delay amid bipartisan pushback 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 MurphyPelosi, Schumer hit 'flailing' Trump over 'sham ceasefire' deal Romney slams ceasefire deal, calls Trump's Syria move 'a bloodstain' in US history Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics 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 SchiffHouse Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Kasich says he'd back impeachment The Hill's 12:30 Report: White House does damage control after Mulvaney remarks 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 JeffriesLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings House chairman: Pompeo not complying with impeachment inquiry Sunday shows - Second whistleblower grabs spotlight 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.