At a confirmation hearing on Tuesday, GOP senators condemned the tone of tweets sent by Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.
Three Republican senators on Tuesday questioned one of President Joe Biden's Cabinet nominees about her past tweets, criticizing the tone and content of those tweets and saying they were "concerned" about whether she could work with Republicans given her past comments.
These same senators — who appeared to be gearing up to justify their opposition of Biden's Office of Management and Budget nominee Neera Tanden — often refused to comment on the hundreds of Donald Trump tweets that included lies, smears, and — on Jan. 6 — the support of violent insurrectionists whose domestic terror attack led to five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer's.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) was the first GOP senator to bring up Tanden's tweets at Tuesday's hearing before the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee.
I believe that the tone and content and aggressive partisanship of some of your public statements have added to the troubling trend of more incivility and division in our public life. And in your case, I'm concerned that your personal attacks about specific senators will make it more difficult for you to work with you. Just to mention a few of the thousands of negative public statements, you wrote that Susan Collins is 'the worst,' that Tom Cotton is a 'fraud,' that, 'vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz.' You called Leader McConnell 'Moscow Mitch' and 'Voldermort,' and on and on.
Portman, however, often refused to comment about Trump's tweets, including in January 2019, when he refused to comment on one of Trump's tweets doubting the intelligence gathered by U.S. officials by saying, "I haven't seen the tweet."
Not to mention, Trump himself tweeted worse attacks at some of the senators Portman listed off.
Among some of the more egregious attacks Trump made on GOP senators include a March 2016 tweet in which Trump insinuated Cruz's wife was ugly and not as attractive as Trump's wife, Melania.
Portman wasn't the only Republican senator to bring up Tanden's tweets.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) asked Tanden if she had been instructed to delete any of her tweets by White House officials. Tanden said no, and that she deleted some of her tweets because she "regretted the tone" of them.
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) also brought up Tanden's tweets, saying that Tanden "tweeted more in the past four years than President Trump tweeted, as far as numbers, and it's been pretty hostile."
"You've called Republicans, 'criminally ignorant,' 'corrupt,' and 'the worst,'" Lankford said.
Trump, for his part, tweeted far worse things than that, including accusing an elderly man who was injured by police officers at a racial justice march of faking his serious injuries.
GOP senators' concern about the tone of Tanden's tweets came the same day Trump's second impeachment trial was set to begin on one charge of inciting an insurrection. Democrats allege that Trump helped incite the insurrection by using his Twitter account to push lies that riled his supporters up.
He tweeted a direction at his supporters to get "wild" at a rally ahead of the Jan. 6 certification of Biden's victory. At that same rally, Trump encouraged the mob of his supporters to march to the Capitol, where they ended up breaking into the building as part of a failed coup attempt that left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer.
Trump later used his Twitter account to cheer on his violent supporters, telling them he "loved" them and that they were "very special."
Republicans have been gearing up to oppose Tanden based on her tweets since she was first nominated. However, they thought they would still have the majority when Tanden was first picked for the job.
Now, Republicans are in the minority after they lost both of the Georgia runoffs and the White House, and Democrats can confirm her without a single GOP vote.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.