WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) defended Trump’s call with Ukraine, saying, “if there was a quid pro quo, it certainly wasn’t a very effective one.”
- He and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway argued that the aid has already been given to Ukraine “and the investigations didn’t happen.”
- Both remarked that Trump’s conduct with Ukraine is not an impeachable offense.
The White House and the Republicans continue to defend Trump’s conduct towards Ukraine, with one GOP congressman saying, “if there was a quid pro quo, it certainly wasn’t a very effective one.”
In NBC’s “Meet the Press”, host Chuck Todd asked Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) about the allegations that Trump conditioned Ukraine aid on an investigation into the Bidens.
He replied, “Concern is different than rising to the level of impeachment. I look at it this way: The aid is there and the investigations didn’t happen. So, if there was a quid pro quo, it certainly wasn’t a very effective one.”
Cole advised the public to read the White House’s summary of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy before deciding on whether it is “worth putting the country through an incredibly divisive process” of impeachment.
The White House’s call summary shows Trump asking for a “favor” from Zelenskiy shortly after the two leaders discussed U.S. support for Ukraine.
On “Fox News Sunday,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway argued that if Trump conditioned military aid on Ukraine investigating the Bidens, it would not be an impeachable offense.
She remarked, “Is it a high crime and misdemeanor? I wouldn’t think so.” She also commented that host Chris Wallace was giving her a “hypothetical that the Democrats want to be true.”
“Let’s be fair, Ukraine got the aid. As you and I sit here, one presumes they’re using that aid. The Ukrainian president said he felt no pressure. He never knew aid was being held up,” Conway said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
On ABC’s “This Week”, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) argued that the president was only making sure that Ukraine is “rooting out corruption” before sending taxpayer money like foreign aid, which is what “the law” requires.
The Republicans have been struggling to defend Trump following the impeachment inquiry.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that Republicans have shifted their defense from “no quid pro quo occurred” to “so what if it did?” This seems to go against the insistence of Trump and the White House that he did not trade military aid for an investigation into the Bidens.