Republicans keep saying Trump is joking about investigating his political opponents, but Trump keeps making clear he's deadly serious.
Another weekend, another round of Republicans going on Sunday shows to defend the increasingly erratic actions of Donald Trump. This week, it only took a couple of hours before Trump himself obliterated the latest GOP rationale for his behavior.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) went on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" and tried to wave away the fact that Trump explicitly asked China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Jordan asked Stephanopoulos, "George, you really think he was serious about thinking that China’s going to investigate the Biden family?"
When Stephanopoulos pointed out that Trump had said just that in public, Jordan waved that away as "getting the press all spun up about this."
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) didn't fare any better on CBS's "Face the Nation." Host Margaret Brennan asked him whether he was "comfortable with what the president has said" in calling for Ukraine and China to investigate Biden. Blunt responded, "I doubt if the China comment was serious to tell you the truth."
Much like Jordan, Blunt tried to attribute Trump's comments to a desire to rile up reporters: "I do know he loves to bait the press and he does that almost every day to see what you'll talk about."
It's of grave concern that a sitting U.S. senator thinks that having Trump make things up nearly every day just to bother the press is extremely troubling. It's also of grave concern how much Republicans will twist themselves in knots trying to justify this behavior.
These assertions that Trump was joking fell flat just a few hours later when Trump went on Twitter to talk about Hunter Biden getting $1.5 billion from China and to again insist "as President, I have an OBLIGATION to look into possible, or probable, CORRUPTION!"
Of course, there is no evidence whatsoever that any member of the Biden family made $1.5 billion in China, much less in a corrupt fashion, but that doesn't stop Trump from making the allegation.
This is only going to get worse as Republicans scramble to support Trump in ever more absurd lies about his political opponents. It's further proof that they'll do anything to back him, even as he hurtles toward impeachment.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.