Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images
President Trump on Sunday tweeted that his Republican allies should not be "led into the fools trap" of calling his dealings with Ukraine inappropriate, but not impeachable.
"The call to the Ukrainian President was PERFECT. Read the Transcript! There was NOTHING said that was in any way wrong. Republicans, don’t be led into the fools trap of saying it was not perfect, but is not impeachable. No, it is much stronger than that. NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG!"
Driving the news: Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) used that language on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, while former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the Washington Post: "[D]o I think it’s not good practice to talk to foreign governments about investigating Americans? Yes. Do I think the president did something that warrants impeachment? No, because the aid flowed."
The big picture: Republicans have been largely divided on how to defend Trump throughout the House's impeachment inquiry. While many House Republicans have criticized the process of the inquiry and key witnesses' lack of firsthand knowledge, Senate Republicans are being advised by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to say as little about impeachment as possible.
- The Post reported last week that a growing number of Republicans are ready to admit that Trump used U.S. military aid as leverage to convince Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, but that it was not illegal and does not constitute an impeachable offense.