Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) says his Republican colleagues’ growing frustration with President Donald Trump’s “misbehavior” could soon reach a fever pitch.
Whitehouse said Thursday that many GOP members of Congress are becoming “increasingly fed up” with the fallout created by ever-emerging scandals connected to the White House.
“The temperature is climbing in Congress among Republicans,” Whitehouse said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I think it’s getting ready to boil over.”
Whitehouse’s statement comes just days after a bombshell New York Times report revealing that Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in June 2016 in hopes of gaining oppositional research on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
An email chain published by the Times on Tuesday showed Trump Jr. telling the Russian lawyer he would “love” to get dirt on Clinton. Their meeting was also attended by Jared Kushner, Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, and Paul Manafort, at the time Trump’s campaign manager.
The unconventional ― and potentially illegal ― meeting is only the latest scandal to plague the White House as several federal agencies investigate potential ties between Trump associates and Russian government officials during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Many Republican lawmakers have either refused to comment on the Trump Jr. meeting or dismissed its significance, but some have expressed irritation.
“It’s sucking the oxygen out of the room, everybody knows that,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told CNN about the story. “I think it’s very difficult when you have this overwhelming barrage of new information that unfolds every few days.”
Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of the groups tasked with investigating potential Trump-Russia links, accused the White House of stonewalling the committee’s inquiries.
He said the committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was getting “pretty damned personally irritated” by the lack of response from the White House.
″I think they’ve proven that whether Americans have a right to know, or whether the answer is truthful, doesn’t matter to them,” Whitehouse said. ”They will say whatever is most useful in the situation of the moment... These are people who have no conscience about telling the truth or about being transparent.”
Still, despite Whitehouse’s warning, the president doesn’t seem particularly concerned about what congressional Republicans might do. The New York Times on Wednesday reported that Trump seems “relieved that for now, the worst appears to be over.” Vox’s Matthew Yglesias took this as a sign that Trump doesn’t expect to face serious consequences from GOP lawmakers: