Amash: Republicans wish they weren’t ‘trapped’ into defending Trump

(CNN) — Rep. Justin Amash lamented administration and congressional Republicans as being caught in an untenable position trying to defend President Donald Trump as the controversy surrounding his dealings with Ukraine continues to grow.

Asked by CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday night whether those around the President were essentially forced to lie in order to defend Trump, Amash, a Michigan independent, replied, “Yeah, and it’s a shame.”

“I think they know better and I think, deep down, they wish they weren’t, you know, trapped in this position,” Amash said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

“And I hear that from my colleagues on the House floor. I hear them talk about how they wish they weren’t doing this.”

He linked that dynamic to many of the recent retirements in Congress, describing them as “people who are just trying to ride out this President, and they might think of coming back into public office later on, once this President is gone.”

Amash’s comments come as Trump moves to safeguard party support with impeachment proceedings charging forward, after some Republicans struggled to back the administration’s defense of his Ukraine dealings as well as other controversies that flared up over the weekend.

Amash on Monday also defended acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who drew Trump’s ire after he said — and then denied saying — that Trump had frozen nearly $400 million in US security aid to Ukraine in part to pressure that country into investigating Democrats.

“Anyone working in this administration is going to have a hard time explaining what’s going on,” Amash told Burnett. “You’re asking a lot from these officials to go out onstage and try to keep the story straight.”

Mulvaney “was telling the truth there, that there was a quid pro quo,” Amash added. “And then he went back and realized, oh, well that’s not what the President wants to hear.”

Amash, who became an independent this summer, was previously the sole Republican who publicly argued that Trump had engaged in impeachable conduct. Republican Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida suggested on Friday that he could be open to impeaching Trump — before announcing Saturday that he would not run for reelection.

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  • Kevin

    Republicans are lucky to have Trump. Republicans would dead without Trump. Mark my words, Trump is the last “Republican” ever elected President. Hes exposed the fact most Republicans are Democrats and most Democrats are anti American. Civil war needs to begin. You either want to be here or you want to live under a socialist regime.

  • Can't stop his madness

    How on earth would he know anything about the republicans? This RINO turned his back on the party and American people long ago. Since this is a report from CNN again, one has to expect a lopsided opinion.

  • Not racist not violent but no longer silent

    It’s sickening when any politician.. even our own Amash.. get on TV and are soooo virtuous. They ALL are crooked. ALL are wealthy because of back door dealings.
    Question is .. how many Democrats are falling in line to impeach the president knowing full well that there is nothing to it?

  • Not racist not violent but no longer silent

    Oh and fox 17.. with all due respect I would consider other sources AND some positive stories on president Trump. This completely biased pulling from CNN will not bode well for you in the long run. Remember half of America is for Trump.

  • Ej

    Justin is just one of many who is in it for the money and truly cares more about his Palestinian family roots and family fortunes. His political end is near and just like any politician with a security clearance he already has a job as a lobbyist lined up to continue the transformation of America.

  • Syrin

    “Untenable”, huh? Defending the guy leading the best economic revival in US history, deregulating total control gov’t, record employment, securing the border, defeating ISIS, creating peace in a nation not having peace in centuries, destroying China who has been robbing us for decades, surviving at least two coups. etc. etc. Yeah, SO HARD to defend the best president in the history of the country

  • Wings

    Earth to Steve
    At the time Mr Amash stood up to the idiot he was still with the GOP
    Get it straight but typical republican they don’t know how

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