GOP lawmakers have been turning down requests by major TV networks to appear on-air and respond to news that President Donald Trump reportedly asked then-FBI Director James Comey to shut down the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose said Wednesday that the show had contacted 20 Republican senators and representatives to appear on the show, as well as White House representatives, and all declined the invitation.
The New York Times published the explosive news Tuesday evening, reporting that Comey had detailed Trump’s request in a memo he had written up after the two met in the Oval Office in February.
In response to news that CBS had struggled to speak with Republican lawmakers, MSNBC host Chris Hayes chimed in on Twitter, writing, “Glad it’s not just me!”
Fox News, too, reported that it was unable to get on-air comment from Republicans Tuesday evening.
“We’ve tried tonight to get Republicans to come out and talk to us, and there are not Republicans willing to go on camera tonight as of yet,” host Bret Baier said. “And we’ll see if that changes.”
In an appearance on Baier’s show, Charles Krauthammer said it was “stunning” that no White House representatives had issued a defence of the president under their own names.
“Who is going to step out now and defend the president in these denials?” Krauthammer said.
A White House statement on Tuesday denied that the Times report was a “truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation” between Trump and Comey, but it was released to the media with no names attached.
Other reporters noted they have been ignored or even treated with open hostility from Republican lawmakers. Politico reporter Rachael Bade tweeted that when she asked Rep. Darrell Issa at Capitol Hill on Tuesday to comment on news of the Comey memo, responding with just his middle finger.
Issa later denied the incident occurred and said he only ignored her question because he was on his way to a vote.
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