Bill Flores' comments come after Donald Trump Jr. releases emails with Rob Goldstone
The Texas Republican says 'It's a meeting that should not have taken place'
One Republican congressman has some advice for President Donald Trump: get your kids out of the White House.
Following the series of emails released by Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday, Rep. Bill Flores, who represents Texas’s 17th Congressional District, said he thinks the President’s best move is to remove all of his children from his administration, whether they hold an official position or not.
“I’m going out on a limb here — but I would say I think it would be in the President’s best interest if he removed all of his children from the White House. Not only Donald Trump (Jr.), but Ivanka and Jared Kushner,” Flores told CNN affiliate KBTX, which is based in Bryan, Texas, on Thursday morning.
Both Ivanka Trump and Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, serve as senior advisers to the President. Trump Jr. does not hold an official position.
Flores’ comments follow revelations related to Trump Jr.’s email exchange about a meeting he arranged with Kushner, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer in order to discuss potentially damaging information against Hillary Clinton.
“I do find issues with the meeting, that it’s a meeting that should not have taken place,” Flores said on KBTX. “I think he probably thought he was looking out for his father’s best interests.”
Flores later issued a statement praising the President as well as his family members’ success in private businesses.
“Through no fault of their own, the presence of President Trump’s adult children in the White House has caused some distractions from the work the Trump administration is doing on behalf of hardworking American families,” Flores said in the statement. “Given the liberal media’s unwavering scrutiny of the Trump administration, it may be beneficial for the president to do all he can to remove any distractions from the administration so that he can focus on our conservative agenda.”
Flores comments are significant because he hails from the President’s own party, but plenty of Democrats also are calling out Trump’s children in the wake of the Trump Jr. revelations. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi argued Kushner should lose his access to sensitive information.
She emphasized, “I’m more concerned about them obeying the law. It’s not outside the law for them to be there, I think,” referring to Kushner holding a senior West Wing position. But on his previously undisclosed meetings with Russian officials, Pelosi said, “you lie on a disclosure form – that’s a crime. You do it multiple times, that’s arrogant and a crime.”
“The GOP must hold Kushner accountable for the false statements on his national security disclosure form and revoke – his security clearance must be revoked immediately. You know that the numbers keep growing as to the false statements,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday.
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment. Trump has defended his children several times this week, including Trump Jr. and Ivanka.
“My son is a wonderful young man. He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer, but a Russian lawyer,” the President said alongside French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday. “It was a short meeting. It was a meeting that went very, very quickly, very fast.”
In the House appropriations committee, Democrats also took aim at his son-in-law’s security clearance.
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was head of the Democratic National Committee when it was hacked during the 2016 campaign, proposed an amendment to a spending bill for the Justice Department that would revoke the security clearance of anyone working in the executive office of the President who was under federal criminal investigation.
Wasserman Schultz made clear that Kushner was the target of the measure.
“Revoking Jared Kushner’s security clearance would send a clear signal to anyone who would consider aiding and abetting a foreign enemy state to affect the outcome of a US presidential election that they will not be entrusted with our nation’s most sensitive information,” she said.
Republicans accused Wasserman Schultz of a political stunt and the amendment failed on a 22-30 party-line vote.