Senators Considering the Dreaded 'Symbolic Rebuke' to Trump Over Putin Summit

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Oh boy oh boy oh boy, he’s really done it now!!!

Donald Trump’s summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, during which Trump publicly broke with the widely shared assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, brought a few strongly worded tweets from Republican senators Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, and John McCain:


These senators are hopping mad, which raises the question: What are they planning on doing about it? According to CNN and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, they’re turning to that most devastating of Senate strategies: a stern look dressed up as action.

The discussions have only just begun, but GOP lawmakers are discussing putting together a measure that would clearly state support for the unanimous conclusion within the intelligence community that Russia was behind the 2016 attacks on the US elections.

“There’s some discussion about what we might be able to do to let the community know we are supportive of them and their efforts — and not be confused by any of this,” Cornyn, who’s the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, said in an interview after President Donald Trump threw cold water on the intelligence community’s 2017 assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin had directed a campaign to attack the US elections with the goal of electing Trump.

“I don’t know what the President’s mental calculation was in giving Putin a pass, but there’s no question in my mind that Putin was responsible,” Cornyn told CNN. “I do want to make sure that the intelligence community knows we support them. I think that’s an important message.”

As CNN helpfully notes, such a move would be the third time in a week that the Senate would pass a “symbolic rebuke” of Trump. There was a non-binding resolution reaffirming U.S. support for NATO after Trump trashed it and another one saying the Congress should have a say in tariffs imposed for “national security” purposes. Of course, like those other “symbolic rebukes,” the Senate issuing the equivalent of a press release saying the CIA is cool is not going to do anything to actually solve any problems.


If they really wanted to throw the brakes on Trump, Senate Republicans could block his Supreme Court nominee, who appears to believe that the president can do whatever the fuck he wants for whatever reason that he wants. They are making a conscious political decision to not do that, and to instead pass a feckless resolution that forces no consequences onto Trump for being an embarrassing dumbass who has proven that he will lie through his teeth all day long if it’ll help him save face. Graham even pathetically hedged his bets after his very strongly worded #thread by reiterating that our 72-year old toddler president earned it all by himself, yes he did:


Just to illustrate how insane this is, Trump once gave this man’s personal phone number out during a speech at a campaign rally. (Stephen Miller, take notes.)

All of this is yet another reminder that the Republican Party is steadfastly committed to not holding the Trump administration accountable, whether it’s on this issue or something more important. And by refusing to provide that accountability, Republicans are complicit in any long-term damage that comes as a result of the Trump presidency.

News editor, Splinter