Even Republicans who were reluctant to criticize Trump said Monday's story needed answers
The Washington Post story Monday followed a Trump tweet about taping conversations
Republicans in Congress barely had time to get their footing Monday, as another wild development, this time reports that President Donald Trump had revealed sensitive intelligence to Russia’s foreign minister and US ambassador, swept the Capitol.
Senators mulled over the latest stunning news, first reported by The Washington Post, as they met inside the chamber.
Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker said the wave of negative stories related to Trump and intelligence meant the White House is in a “downward spiral.”
“They are in a downward spiral right now and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening,” Corker told reporters. “You know the shame of it is there’s a really good national security team in place, there’s good productive things that are underway through them, and through others. But the chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment that I think — it creates a worrisome environment.”
Even some of who had been reluctant to criticize Trump said Monday’s report raised questions that needed answers.
More on what Trump told the Russians
“We have no way to know what was said, but protecting our nation’s secrets is paramount,” said Doug Andres, a spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan. “The speaker hopes for a full explanation of the facts from the administration.”
Republican Susan Collins, a Maine senator, put her party’s apparent exasperation more concisely in a light-hearted aside comment to reporters. “Can we have a crisis-free day? That’s all I’m asking.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican leading one of four congressional probes into Russia’s meddling in the US elections, said he was not sure yet if Trump had leaked any intelligence to the Russians – noting that other stories have been inaccurate.
But he noted that he had a problem with Trump’s tweet Friday, threatening to release possible tapes of conversations with Comey.
“I think it was inappropriate, I think if there is a tape we need to know about it. I don’t think we can dodge that issue. I want to get back to doing the business of the country. North Korea is developing a missile that can hit the American homeland,” Graham said. “I want to help the President where I can, but tweets like that take us off in a ditch.”