Last night, House Republicans took to a surprise late night session to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics and vote to place themselves in charge of policing themselves. This morning, Kellyanne Conway excused the move as being necessary because, she claimed, the OCE was too zealous in pursuing its mandate (i.e. nailing corrupt Republicans for ethics violations).
She promised that Donald Trump when “he feels the urge to weigh in” would weigh in, and he has done that, surprisingly criticizing the GOP move when there are so many more important issues to tackle:
With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017(Continued Below)
……..may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance! #DTS
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
Keep in mind, Trump is not saying that the OCE is not unfair, and in this, he is backing up Conway’s assertion this morning on the Today show. On the other hand, he appears to believe congressional Republicans are jumping the shark in making this their first act.
There is plenty of time, from Trump’s perspective, to tackle issues that do nothing to advance his own highly publicized agenda. Republicans targeted by the OCE may not agree, but Ryan himself is going to have to learn that he is himself now playing second fiddle to a needy and unpredictable reality star who craves attention.
This will certainly not be the last uncomfortable moment we see arise as a result of the uneasy relationship between congressional Republicans and the incoming administration. If Republicans thought after Obama they were getting a honeymoon with Trump, they’d better think again.
This was a reality check – albeit a toothless one – for Congress from a guy used to calling the shots. It serves as a reminder that Donald Trump thinks Donald Trump should come first, and they need to get their self-serving priorities straight and start serving Donald Trump instead.