Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday urged his GOP colleagues to publicly pushback against President Trump‘s demand that Republicans “finally take control” of the Russia investigation.
“You never thought you’d hear a president say something like this. Frankly, you never thought you’d hear such silence from the other side of the aisle when he does,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. “Republican lawmakers ought to shout down that kind of appeal.”
He added that Trump’s comments “should send shivers down our spines.”
Trump tweeted on Wednesday that the investigation into Russia’s election interference and potential collusion between his presidential campaign and Moscow was a “witch hunt.”
“The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes. Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!” he said.
Trump’s tweet came after he knocked Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), whom he called “sneaky,” for releasing a transcript of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s interview with Judiciary Committee staffers. The firm was behind a controversial dossier that alleges ties between the Trump campaign and Russia
Schumer praised Feinstein on Thursday and pointed to Trump’s tweets as one of “several events that have shaken my confidence” that Republicans support independent Russia probes.
“In my judgment, at least, for partisan reasons, Republicans in Congress and some in some parts of the media, the conservative parts of the media, have sought to undermine the Russian investigation in countless ways,” he said.
He added that their goal seems to be try to “unilaterally … discredit any findings that are detrimental to their party or their president” using “secrecy and innuendo.”
Conservative Republicans have stepped up their attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into the 2016 election, and urged an overhaul at the FBI and Department of Justice.
In response, Democrats are increasing their defense of Mueller, and calling on Republicans to resist pressure to quickly wrap up several ongoing congressional investigations.
Schumer argued on Thursday that a “right-wing smear campaign is being waged to discredit the investigation and the investigator.”