Daily Trump drama forces Republican lawmakers to react, over and over again

It’s become de rigeur for members of Congress: another day, another request from reporters to comment on the latest crisis overtaking the White House.

This week, the questions centered on the momentous revelations that President Donald Trump gave classified information to Russia in the Oval Office — and that fired FBI Director James Comey wrote a memo saying Trump asked him to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Democrats have been uniformly critical. But for many Republican lawmakers, navigating the halls of the U.S. Capitol, and answering their phones, has turned into an exercise in deploying deliberately cautious language — while also sounding increasingly frustrated with the Trump administration.

Take, for example, Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo.

Curbelo, one of the most threatened GOP congressmen and a frequent Trump critic who had been facing stinging criticism in his Democratic-leaning district for voting for House Republicans’ healthcare legislation. He backs the formation of a select committee to investigate the allegations against Trump.

Here was Curbelo reacting last week to Comey’s abrupt firing:

And here’s Curbelo on the Russia leak, first reported by the Washington Post:

By the time the New York Times broke the story about Comey’s memo, Curbelo had become a hot media commodity:

“This isn’t good for our psyche,” he told CBS News.

“We should not be alarming people, because we still have to gather the facts. But neither is this something that we can sweep under the rug and dismiss,” Curbelo told CNN. “An important first step would be to get Director Comey here to offer public testimony — not behind closed doors.”

An even bigger Trump critic, Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, has been a staple on local TV news in English and Spanish for the past two days, as evidenced by her own Twitter feed.

The third Miami Republican in Congress, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who represents a more conservative district, has been more circumspect, on:

▪ the Comey firing

▪ the Russia leak

▪ and the Comey memo.

And then there’s Sen. Marco Rubio, a Senate Intelligence Committee member who has repeatedly refrained from jumping too deeply into the fray. As a Senate candidate last year, Rubio said he’d be a “check and balance on the excesses of the president,” but for now, he’s urged patience until more details to come to light.

Article Daily Trump drama forces Republican lawmakers to react, over and over again compiled by www.miamiherald.com

Recommended stories

Trump's Cabinet picks fuel stage drama in London and NY

Four key players in President Donald Trump's new administration are central characters in a "verbatim play," boiled down from combative U.S. Senate confirmation hearings, that looks to Trump's Cabinet picks for clues to his government's direction.

Relax Daily Trump drama forces Republican lawmakers to react, over and over again stories

Ryan backs Trump, cautions against 'rush to judgment'

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he retains confidence in President Trump and cautions against a 'rush to judgment' over the cascading revelations from the White House on Trump's interactions with the Russians and with former FBI Director James Comey.

Q&A: Would Trump request to end Flynn probe have broken law?

Some lawmakers are accusing the president of obstruction of justice after revelations the FBI director wrote a memo saying Donald Trump asked him to end a probe into a former aide. But it's a tricky question, both criminally and politically.

Dems warn their Trump obsession will hurt party

The speeches previewed a challenge Democrats will grappled with from now until the next presidential race, as they try to win over voters who are wary of Trump but skeptical their party can make life better.

GOP security hawks on Trump: We told you so

Donald Trump began the 2016 campaign with few Republican allies, and by the end, he had consolidated support from the vast majority of his party. But he never fully won over the GOP’s foreign policy establishment.

More stories

Embattled White House lurches from crisis to crisis

President Donald Trump personally appealed to FBI Director James Comey to abandon the bureau's investigation into National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, according to notes Comey wrote after the meeting.