House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has clearly made the decision he'll defend Trump, no matter what.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) went on television Sunday morning to defend Trump's every move. McCarthy is solidifying himself as one of Trump's most devoted champions, complete with all the self-delusion that requires.
Appearing on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," McCarthy dug in, insisting Trump has done nothing wrong and everyone is just out to get him. And at times, he defended Trump in a very Trumpian way: by completely making something up.
McCarthy insists that Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee "decided to impeach the president the day the president won the election." As much as McCarthy is trying to paint Nadler as someone devoted to impeaching Trump from the very start, it's just not the case.
Nadler, who also appeared on "This Week" is proceeding carefully, saying that impeachment is "a long way down the road," that his committee doesn't yet have the facts or evidence, and that he will initiate "proper investigations." This is not the behavior of a wild-eyed zealot, unlike, say, Trey Gowdy's endless Benghazi investigations.
McCarthy doesn't believe Trump did anything worth impeaching him over, even after Michael Cohen's testimony about hush payments. Instead, McCarthy said both that it was Cohen's fault and it wasn't really a big deal — just a campaign finance violation where someone is fined. Then he tried to pivot to bragging about the current gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States.
McCarthy is also unhappy that the Democrats held a hearing while Trump was overseas, ad accused them of putting "their dislike ahead of their country" and that "nobody else in history" would criticize a president while he was overseas.
Of course, the GOP routinely criticized Obama when he was overseas on behalf of the country. In 2009, Sen James Inhofe (R-OK) was so unhappy that Obama was working to address climate change at a conference in Copenhagen that he decided to send his own representatives to the conference to insist other nations not cooperate with Obama. GOP members like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and then-Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) also went abroad to criticize Obama's policies.
McCarthy also doesn't care that Trump granted his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance over the objections of the CIA, in large part because they were worried Kushner could be compromised by foreign powers. McCarthy breezily dismissed that as well, saying the president has the right to pick whoever he wants for his national security team. That stance would be a lot more convincing if Kushner had any foreign policy experience whatsoever that made it a necessity he be a member of the national security team.
Without a doubt, Trump needs all the defenders he can get as he faces investigations into his obstruction of justice, his probable money laundering, Russian collusion, and more. McCarthy is just the latest in a series of Republicans willing to give up any credibility they have to throw their lot in with Trump.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.