Donald Trump is spying congressional Republicans who criticize him and taking steps to eliminate them from the party if they criticize him.
Politico reported on what happened to Rep. Francis Rooney in Florida:
All of a sudden, the once-invisible congressman was the subject of constant surveillance. Rooney could go nowhere, say nothing, without the eyes of the party on him. House Republican leaders, having been made aware of Rooney’s agitating, deputized lawmakers to monitor the malcontent. The White House—both its political team and its legislative affairs shop—did likewise. Before long, the president himself was briefed on the threat from Rooney. Disturbed, Trump began calling his friends and associates, on Capitol Hill and in Florida, trying to make sense of the situation.
And yet, Trump cannot stand to be embarrassed—and there is no greater embarrassment to a president than being impeached, much less with the abetting of his own tribe. There is an urgency, then, not only to limit defections but eliminate them. The administration, working in concert with its allies on Capitol Hill, has been hard at work identifying potential turncoats in the party and monitoring their activities to catch any sign of slippage.
Rooney was under surveillance before he publicly criticized Trump.
Republicans talk about “Soviet-style” impeachment, which doesn’t exist, while Trump has transformed the GOP into a Soviet-style political party, where any criticism of the leader will cost the member their career.
The way around these tactics is through strength in numbers. Trump has been able to pick off his critics one at a time, but if 20 or 30 Senate Republicans came forward, that would be a different story. The odds of this happening are slim because Trump and his allies are monitoring and stomping out any potential movement against the president.
Trump is ruling through fear, and if he loses in 2020, there isn’t going to be a Republican Party left to move forward with.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association