Republican reaction to New York Times op-ed: Some concern, some shrugs

Republican lawmakers mostly shrugged off Thursday the anonymous senior administration official who sharply c...

Posted: Sep 7, 2018 6:04 AM
Updated: Sep 7, 2018 6:04 AM

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.

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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.

Confirmed Cases: 112123

Reported Deaths: 3223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
DeSoto670178
Harrison484483
Jackson435081
Rankin383786
Madison373993
Lee344979
Forrest296377
Jones283782
Washington252197
Lafayette242642
Lauderdale2376131
Lamar217138
Bolivar198377
Oktibbeha195854
Neshoba1814111
Lowndes174962
Panola166337
Leflore160787
Sunflower157649
Warren152755
Monroe145972
Pontotoc143819
Pike137256
Lincoln135555
Copiah135036
Marshall134826
Scott123829
Coahoma123436
Grenada120038
Yazoo119333
Simpson118649
Union115225
Holmes113560
Leake113340
Tate113239
Itawamba110424
Pearl River108958
Adams104343
Prentiss102619
Wayne98721
Alcorn96012
George93917
Marion92942
Covington92525
Tippah85921
Newton84427
Chickasaw82625
Winston82221
Tallahatchie81825
Tishomingo79341
Hancock78127
Attala77626
Clarke72349
Clay67621
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61412
Noxubee59617
Smith58316
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52923
Tunica52217
Lawrence49914
Yalobusha49314
Perry48122
Carroll46312
Greene45518
Stone45014
Amite41713
Quitman4146
Humphreys41216
Jefferson Davis39811
Webster36613
Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
Calhoun412759
Etowah405749
Morgan396833
Houston364632
DeKalb319628
Elmore310752
St. Clair282142
Limestone270828
Walker268892
Talladega258435
Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
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