Opinion by SE Cupp
Updated 9:01 PM ET, Thu October 17, 2019
Sen. Graham is Trump’s loyal ally. But it’s complicated
(CNN) Defending the indefensible has become a cottage industry for Republican lawmakers in the era of Trump.
In the days and weeks surrounding President Donald Trump’s decision last year to enforce the separation and caging of asylum-seeking children at the southern border, Republican lawmakers were largely supportive of him.
In the days after a baffling news conference last year in which President Trump, standing alongside Vladimir Putin, parroted the duplicitous Russian position that it did not meddle in our elections — even though his own intelligence community had said the opposite — Republican lawmakers shrugged.
In the days and weeks after the release of the Mueller report earlier this year, which revealed multiple examples of the President’s attempts to engage in obstructive conduct, Republican lawmakers were defiantly behind him.
And in the days after the news about President Trump’s alleged attempt to coerce the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rival (Trump denied that was his purpose) — news that unleashed a stunning flood of evidence, transcripts, testimony, texts, and whistleblowers and ultimately resulted in an impeachment inquiry — the GOP circled the wagons around their President.
Those are just a few of the many embarrassing episodes from the past few years where Republican lawmakers had opportunities to condemn the indefensible, and many have chosen not to. Many, in fact, have decided to abandon their conservative principles, their ethical and constitutional obligations — not to mention their sense of common decency — to justify Trump’s odious behavior and deleterious decisions.