Following reports that a memo exists in which President Donald Trump asked ex-FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Republicans have gone suspiciously quiet.
The White House released a sketchy, anonymous statement denying the report, however, mainstream media sources had a difficult time finding a Republican willing to go on the record and denounce the memo’s validity Tuesday night, according to Quartz.
The White House statement saying Trump never interfered in the FBI Flynn investigation is anonymously sourced. No one put their name on it. https://t.co/XMdNU3DYj8— Liam Stack (@liamstack) May 16, 2017
Even Fox News, which has received praise from Trump for their so-called fair reporting, announced that they couldn’t get anyone on air to come to the president’s defense.
Several reporters tweeted about being shot down by GOP members of Congress while trying to get statements from them. Some stooped so low to avoid answering inquiries about the memo that they pretended to take phone calls as they passed by reporters.
Lot of members of Congress suddenly getting phone calls when they pass reporters in the way to votes right now— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) May 16, 2017
I just had to convince a GOP lawmaker to answer my questions about tax reform by assuring him I wasn't asking about Russia lol— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) May 17, 2017
I attempted to ask @SpeakerRyan about the New York Times story in the Capitol. He tapped me on the arm and said hi, and kept walking.— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) May 16, 2017
Congressman Darrell Issa was even accused of making a vulgar gesture toward Politico’s Rachael Bade, which he later denied occurred.
Whether the incident happened or not, Issa — along with many of his GOP counterparts — still failed to offer any on-the-record statement about this damning new memo, which is not a good look for their party or this administration.
Amid all of these back-to-back controversies, Republicans have gotten really good at evading the media.
Earlier this month, when Congress voted on the American Health Care Act, several GOP members actually ran away from reporters who asked if they had even read the revised version of the bill. Just last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer
hid behind “stood among” a bush to shield himself from journalists who were eager to ask questions about the abrupt firing of Comey.
While the erratic behavior Republicans are exhibiting under pressure is certainly alarming, we can’t deny it makes for a pretty good laugh.
Alas, they can’t escape the inevitable. The public has a right to know what is going on within our government and whether there’s truth to this newly-exposed memo.