Trump’s reversal in Syria causes ‘cracks’ in GOP support

Trump’s reversal in Syria causes ‘cracks’ in GOP support


>>Thompson: IT’S A BUSY WEEK IN POLITICS, INCLUDING THE UPCOMING DEMOCRATIC DEBATE ON TUESDAY IN OHIO. JEFF GREENFIELD JOINS ME NOW FROM SANTA BARBARA FOR SOME ANALYSIS. SO WE HEARD THIS NEWS THIS MORNING ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN. HE’S NOW STEPPING DOWN FROM THE BOARD OF A CHINESE COMPANY. HOW DO YOU THINK THAT’S GONNA PLAY OUT THIS WEEK?>>IT’S AN ISSUE THAT DEMOCRATS RAISE ALL THE TIME ABOUT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FAMILY WHO ARE STILL ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND BUSINESSES. AND I COULD SEE SOME OF JOE BIDEN’S OPPONENTS SAYING, “WELL, YOU KNOW, WAS THAT, WAS THAT A CASE OF GOOD JUDGMENT? HOW COME YOU DIDN’T RAISE THIS WITH YOUR SON WHEN HE WAS BEGINNING TO SIGN ON TO SOME OF THESE COMPANIES?”>>Thompson: WHAT ELSE DO YOU THINK WE’RE GONNA BE HEARING ON TUESDAY FROM THE CANDIDATES?>>SO, I THINK TWO THINGS ARE GONNA COME UP. ONE, I THINK THE INTERROGATORS, THE PANEL THAT ARE GONNA ASK THESE CANDIDATES HOW MUCH THEY IDENTIFY WITH SOME OF THE MORE CONTROVERSIAL POSITIONS THAT SOME HAVE TAKEN. BETO O’ROURKE FOR INSTANCE SUGGESTED THE CHURCHES THAT OPPOSE SAME SEX MARRIAGE BE DEPRIVED OF THEIR TAX EXEMPT STATUS, WHICH IS WIDELY AT VARIANCE OF TRADITIONAL FIRST AMENDMENT NOTIONS. I THINK THE OTHER KINDS OF ISSUES THAT HAVE COME UP IN THE PAST, ARE YOU FOR OPEN BORDERS, OR, DO YOU THINK THAT THERE’S GOT TO BE SOME LIMIT? DO YOU FAVOR TAKING AWAY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE? WHERE ARE YOU ON ABORTION? ANY RESTRICTIONS? THE OTHER THING THAT I THINK IS GOING TO COME UP IS AGE. WE JUST HAD A 78-YEAR-OLD CANDIDATE GO– SUFFER A HEART ATTACK. I THINK THAT ISSUE IS GOING TO COME UP WITH RESPECT NOT JUST TO SANDERS, BUT WITH JOE BIDEN, WHO’S ALMOST THE SAME AGE. IT’S AN INTERESTING NOTION THAT IF EITHER OF THOSE TWO PEOPLE ARE ELECTED PRESIDENT, ON THEIR FIRST DAY IN OFFICE, THEY WILL BE OLDER THAN RONALD REAGAN WAS ON HIS LAST DAY. AND I THINK THAT’S AN ISSUE THAT’S GONNA HAUNT AT LEAST SANDERS AND BIDEN. POSSIBLY ELIZABETH WARREN, THOUGH THE POLLS SUGGESTS PEOPLE ARE LESS WORRIED ABOUT HER AGE THAN THEY ARE ABOUT SANDERS OR BIDEN.>>Thompson: TURNING NOW TO THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY. FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS, PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS HAD ALMOST LOCKSTEP SUPPORT FROM CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS, BUT WE ARE STARTING TO SEE SOME CRACKS IN THAT RIGHT?>>YEAH, AND I THINK IT’S BECAUSE THE MORE IMMEDIATE ISSUES HAVE TO DO WITH FOREIGN POLICY MATTERS THAT ARE SPECIAL CONCERN TO SENATORS BECAUSE THEY’RE– THE SENATE IS THE BODY THAT RATIFIES TREATIES, CONFIRMS AMBASSADORS AND DIPLOMATS. AND WHAT THE PRESIDENT STANDS ACCUSED OF DOING WITH RESPECT TO UKRAINE IS HOLDING AN ALLY BESIEGED BY RUSSIA HOSTAGE TO HIS POLITICAL CONCERNS. SO DEPENDING ON WHAT NEXT WEEK’S WITNESSES SAY AT VARIOUS CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES, YOU CAN SEE SOME CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS BOTHERED BY THIS IN A WAY THAT OTHER THINGS THAT TRUMP HAS DONE DID NOT. I ALSO THINK THIS SUDDEN REVERSAL OF POLICY IN NORTHERN SYRIA, WHERE, AFTER A PHONE CALL WITH THE PRESIDENT OF TURKEY, WE’RE HEARING REPORTS OF CHAOS IN NORTHERN SYRIA, OF ISIS PRISONERS BEING FREED. THAT’S THE KIND OF RESULT THAT IS GOING TO BOTHER REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVES WHO HAVE LONG ARGUED THAT WE NEED A MORE MUSCULAR FOREIGN POLICY.>>Thompson: I MEAN, HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THIS IS GONNA WEAKEN THE PRESIDENT’S HAND AS, YOU KNOW, WE APPROACH THE PROBABLE, THE VERY PROBABLE LIKELIHOOD OF IMPEACHMENT IN THE HOUSE?>>YEAH, WELL, YOU KNOW, WE SHOULD THINK BACK TO THE CLINTON IMPEACHMENT WHEN ONLY FIVE DEMOCRATS, BASICALLY SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS WHO REALLY WEREN’T DEMOCRATS AT ALL, VOTED TO IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT AND NO DEMOCRAT IN THE SENATE VOTED TO CONVICT. AS OF NOW, I DON’T SEE MORE THAN A HANDFUL, FINGERS OF ONE HAND WITH SOME LEFTOVER, A COUPLE OF REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE WHO WILL VOTE FOR IMPEACHMENT. BUT UNLESS AND UNTIL A KIND OF REASONABLE NUMBER OF REPUBLICANS BREAK WITH HIM I THINK HE’S GOING TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT THIS ON THE BASIS THAT THIS IS PARTISAN POLITICS AND IT’S AN ATTEMPT TO UNDO THE 2016 ELECTION. AND THAT LINE IS GONNA HOLD UNTIL WE SEE SIGNS OF MORE, MORE CRACKS IN THE WALL THAN WE’VE SEEN SO FAR.>>Thompson: GREAT JEFF GREENFIELD, THANK YOU SO MUCH AS ALWAYS.>>THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

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