Graham: Op-ed will matter 'zero'

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) comments on the op-ed published by the New York Times in which an unnamed senior administration official admits to working against the President.

Posted: Sep 6, 2018 5:40 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2018 6:03 PM

Republican lawmakers mostly shrugged off Thursday the anonymous senior administration official who sharply criticized the President in an opinion piece for The New York Times.

While some called for the unnamed official to resign, others felt the author's op-ed was less-than-surprising and just the latest example of the chaos in the Trump administration.

Republican Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas had some concerns.

"I like certainty, I like predictability. It seems like something is churning constantly with this administration and in the media," Moran said. "It's important for us to have that stability that comes from a day-to-day White House that operates well."

"I'd love to see the certainty," he continued.

The author of the Times op-ed blasted Trump as an amoral, anti-democratic and incompetent leader, and confessed to being part of an army of senior administration officials "working diligently from within to frustrate parts of (Trump's) agenda and his worst inclinations."

Outgoing Republican Sen. Bob Corker, a Trump critic, said he "didn't think there was any new information that was laid out," adding that he felt it was "a little bit dramatic" and he doesn't like anonymous letters.

"I mean anyone who's had any dealings over there knows that this is the reality that we're living in and so I don't know -- I think a lot's been made out of nothing," Corker said. "I think the biggest issue they're going to have is figuring out who wouldn't have written a letter like that."

Another retiring critic of Trump, Sen. Jeff Flake, also felt it was par for the course that a senior administration official disapproved of the President's actions and rhetoric.

"I hope more will come out publicly and I hope that the Congress will more publicly condemn statements like the President made and on Twitter on Monday," he said.

Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican and the second ranking GOP member of the chamber, shook his head "no" when reporters asked if he was concerned about the President's stability.

"A number of us have given the President some friendly advice, like on the Twitter account and the like," he said, when pressed whether Trump should take more stock in some of the criticism from the op-ed. "But he's convinced that actually helped him getting elected president and he enjoys communicating directly with the American people and in the end he's going to be the one that makes that decision. Yes, we try to give him advice in that area and he rejected it."

Over in the House, Republicans were more frank. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the person who wrote the op-ed is "living in dishonesty" and "shouldn't work for the President."

"A person who works in the administration serves at the pleasure of the President. It's a person who obviously is living in dishonesty," he told reporters. "That doesn't help the President, so if you're not interested in helping the President, you shouldn't work for the President."

Asked if Congress has any role in investigating who was behind the op-ed, Ryan said, "Not that I know of."

Rep. Mark Meadows, a Trump ally and chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, disagrees.

As chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on Government Operations, Meadows told reporters that he and his staff are looking into whether this was something they could investigate.

"We're less than 24 hours into this," he said. "Do I take it seriously? Certainly. Should we all take it seriously? Without a doubt."

He admitted, however, there were no concrete steps at this point for an official probe.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul suggested using a lie detector test to determine the author's identity.

"I think if you have a security clearance in the White House I think it would be acceptable to use a lie detector test and ask people whether they are talking to the media against the policy of the White House," the Kentucky Republican said. "This could be very dangerous if the person who is talking to the media is actually revealing national security secrets, so yes I think we need to get to the bottom of it."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 147382

Reported Deaths: 3763
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
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