US President Donald Trump addressed members of the Republican Party during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Monday, following the escalating impeachment inquiry and criticism that he is currently facing from some GOP representatives, saying, as quoted by The Hill, that the party has to “get tougher”.
“Republicans have to get tougher and fight”, Trump said during the meeting, as quoted by the media outlet. “We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election”.
Discord Over G7 Summit Host Location
The message comes following a wave of criticism against Donald Trump from both Democrats and several Republicans over an array of matters, including an ongoing impeachment inquiry, the US pull-out of troops from Syria, the subsequent launch of a military offensive by Turkey in the Middle Eastern country, as well as POTUS’ decision to hold the next G7 summit at the Doral resort in Florida, which belongs to his family.
The last point has been particularly criticised by a number of Republican Party members – including former Governors Bill Weld and Mark Sanford, who are currently running as GOP presidential candidates in the 2020 election. They found Trump’s proposal to hold the international conference at his Miami property to be in breach of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution, which prohibits the president from accepting payments from foreign countries. Some Republican lawmakers, such as Representatives Fred Upton and Pete King, also warned Trump about potential backlash that he might experience following the decision.
Ongoing Impeachment Probe
Although the decision to host the G7 summit at the Trump National Doral was later reversed by POTUS, there remained some other potential sources of disagreement between the president and members of the Republican Party, including the ongoing impeachment probe into Trump’s alleged pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s involvement in the country’s internal affairs. A formal probe against POTUS was launched by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives in late September, following a whistleblower complaint. Donald Trump vehemently denied the allegations, while the Ukrainian president later said that he had not been “pushed” into anything.
The new wave of criticism against the US president arose last week following remarks by acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who said and then denied that Trump had sought a quid pro quo by using a US aid package as leverage over Ukraine in return for an investigation of the hacking of the Democratic Party’s servers during the 2016 presidential election. This was strongly criticised by some Republicans, including Francis Rooney, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which is one of the panels leading the probe, who told CNN over the weekend that it was “certainly quite clear right now” that some actions had been taken to get Ukraine “do some of these things”.
While some GOP members have not ruled out the possibility of supporting impeachment proceedings, most Republicans who were summoned to participate in depositions in relation to the inquiry strongly backed Donald Trump, with the president’s allies in the House Freedom Caucus forcing a vote on a resolution to censure Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
“This is about impeaching the president of the United States 13 months before an election because they’re afraid that he’s going to win in 2020”, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee and former Freedom Caucus chairman, Jim Jordan, said on Monday. “That’s what this is about”.
Trump recently said that his approval rating in the Republican Party had reached 95%.