Rooney Surprised by Etch A Sketch Moment in Trump Ukraine Scandal
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney essentially became the chief witness against President Donald Trump this week when he acknowledged that the president withheld security aid to Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate Joe Biden, an egregious misuse of power.
Later, when the Oval Office learned how Mulvaney had stepped in it, he was ordered to change his story. But by then it was too late, prompting an outcry from Republicans already roiled by Trump’s decision to abandon our allies, the Kurds, in Syria.
Southwest Florida’s Rep. Francis Rooney, who represents coastal Collier County in District 19, was among those Republicans expressing alarm:
“I couldn’t believe it — I was very surprised that he said that,” Rooney told The New York Times, mocking Mulvaney’s attempts to take back comments that had been broadcast live from the White House briefing room.
“It’s not an Etch A Sketch,” Rooney said, miming the tipping movement that erases the toy drawing board. “There were a lot of Republicans looking at that headline yesterday when it came up, I certainly was.”
As the Times reports, the pressure on Republicans is heating up as the Impeachment investigation continues, and now the Senate, which had seemed ready to dismiss any impeachment trial in short order, now realizes the country will demand a full airing of the charges.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell herded Republican senators into a room this week to lay out a PowerPoint presentation on how an impeachment trial might unfold. It no longer will do to be dismissive of the charges, he told Republicans. Why? Too many moderate GOP senators are up for re-election and if they are not seen as taking the impeachment seriously it could imperil their re-election.
Yes, it’s all politics. But impeachment is a political process. And this is rapidly evolving.