McConnell protects Trump over GOP conference — raising the question: How deep in the crime is Mitch?
As many as three times a day, CNN sources say, Donald Trump phones Moscow Mitch McConnell to browbeat him about impeachment and to remind him to keep Senate Republicans in line.
This, a McConnell spokesman says, is not true. "This story, based on a single anonymous source, is categorically false. Leader McConnell never said anything like this," Doug Andres told CNN. But CNN's reporting says, "McConnell has told a small number of Republicans about the President's calls." I'm gonna go with CNN on this one.
Trump's aim is to make McConnell keep Republicans united behind him, even to their own potential political (and self-esteem) detriment. CNN says that its source has said that "Trump has been lashing out at GOP senators he sees as disloyal" and has been "telling McConnell he will amplify attacks on those Republicans who criticize him." That's abundantly clear, as his attacks on Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney have been brutal and unhinged. Trump's tweeted that Romney is a "pompous ass" and said that the senator should be impeached, which isn't a thing, but who expected Trump to know anything about how the Constitution and law stuff work?
A CNN source says that McConnell has made it clear in his apparently constant phone chats with Trump that the Senate won't be able to just ignore an impeachment referral and will have to have a trial. But what he intends to do about that trial is unclear. He hasn't said anything to his conference about it, either, "say multiple people with knowledge." He is, however, telling his donors what they want to hear: "The way that impeachment stops is a Senate majority, with me as majority leader."
The longer he keeps those Republicans in line with Trump, the less likely it becomes that he keeps that majority. Which makes you wonder: If he's going to keep standing with Trump and sacrificing his own members, just how deep is he in Trump's criminal enterprise?