2018-07-23 16:30:261 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Trey Gowdy (Image source: Public domain)
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) had a good thought. Why are Donald Trump's advisers even there? They're obviously not listening to him. He goes rogue all too often, leaving his advisers to throw up their hands. Gowdy is suggesting they should just resign from their position.
We don't even really know what was said at Trump's Helsinki summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin, as it was a closed-door meeting with only interpreters. And once the two emerged from the meeting, it didn't improve things any, as he disregarded the FBI's findings that Russia meddled in the election. Days later, Trump invited Putin to visit Washington in the fall.
"The fact that we have to talk to you about Syria and other matters is very different from issuing an invitation," the lawmaker said on "Fox News Sunday. "Those should be reserved for, I think, our allies."
"It can be proven beyond any evidentiary burden that Russia is not our friend, and they tried to attack us in 2016," Gowdy said. "So the president either needs to rely on the people that he has chosen to advise him, or those advisers need to reevaluate whether or not they can serve in this administration. But the disconnect cannot continue."
Gowdy's not alone. Political pundits and Democratic lawmakers are saying that after Trump said he held both the U.S. and Russia responsible for the tensions between the two countries and refused to call Putin out for the election interference that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and nation security adviser John Bolton should all quit.
John Hunstman, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, wrote an op-ed that appeared in a Utah newspaper in which he's refusing to give up his post, believing he is needed in his job.
Coats was interviewed on Thursday by Andrea Mitchell with NBC News and indicated that he didn't want to discuss resigning, noting it was "a place I don't really go to publicly."
He added, "As long as I'm able to have the ability to seek the truth and speak the truth, I'm on board." This is despite him earlier backing up the assessment that Russia took part in interfering with the 2016 election.
For his part, Trump has waffled on his comments made last week in Helsinki. He's said he misspoke, reversed his position, etc. "I'm glad he corrected it," said Gowdy, "but when you're the leader of the free world, every syllable matters."
He believes Trump needs to separate thoughts of Russia interfering and the investigation into his campaign possibly colluding in those efforts.
"I have not seen one scintilla of evidence that this president colluded, conspired, confederated with Russia," he explained. "And neither has anyone else, or you may rest assured [Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)] would have leaked it."
For his part, Schiff is still coming down hard on the Trump administration, as well as his Republican counterparts in Congress. "When it comes to defending the country, they're not willing to follow through," he said on "This Week" on ABC.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), however, seemed to put the onus on Trump. "The fact that we have to question the integrity, the honesty, and the loyalty of a commander in chief when it comes to dealing with Russia is a problem in and of itself," he said on "State of the Union" on CNN.
But while everyone is throwing blame around and talking of resignation, and while this administration is known to have a revolving door, no one has resigned or been fired after the Helsinki summit.
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