GOOD MORNING DC: The Inside Story Of GOP’S War On Trump

#GoodMorningDC we have the inside story of GOP’s war on Trump.


 

Good Morning DC with Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer

Good Morning DC.

Power is a lot like real estate. It's all about location, location, location. The closer you are to the source, the higher your property value, said Frank Underwood. Well, not anymore. Trump's stock is falling fast and will take many with him. 

Spotted: Lindsey Graham boarding Air Force One yesterday with Trump on the way to Alamo, Texas. Was it not only five days ago that Lindsay Graham turned on Trump, insisting that "enough is enough"? 

Good Morning DC reported that there has been speculation over the possibility of Trump having something over Graham. If true, could it be possible that Trump waved that something over Graham's head, forcing Graham to accompany Trump in Alamo on Tuesday?  

The break-up with Trump is not easy for those who have hitched their wagons to him. They know that the chips are down, but there is no turning back. Last week's events gave ample opportunity, but it appears that this time, there is no path to victory. Trump's loyalists are going to go down with the ship.

The GOP is splintering, and in the coming days, it will be interesting to see if Kevin McCarthy will stay in power. "My money is that he won't," a GOP insider told Good Morning DC. At the moment, McCarthy is trying to play both sides. He is trying to make Trump happy and, at the same time, to be diplomatic, and that is why he told his members it was not Antifa that stormed the US Capitol. The problem with his narrative going forward is that the Republican Party cannot continue to play both sides. 

"Trumpism has to go with Trump," a GOP source involved told Good Morning DC. Many hope that Trump goes his separate way and forms his own party so that the Republicans can fully dissociate from him and chart a separate path forward. 

Liz Cheney is setting herself up now to take his place. Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise have put themselves in a significantly compromised position. That Scalise is siding with Trump is "mindblowing" for Republicans after what happened at the US Capitol. "Man was a victim of domestic terrorism. He got shot on a baseball field in cold blood in Virginia three years ago. I don't know if it's politics, I don't know if it's personal because the President was nice to him when he was hurt. But whatever it is, I can tell you he's on the wrong side of history right now," a source told Good Morning DC. 

Kevin McCarthy tries his best to dance around it, but a source familiar with the situation thinks the end is near. "In McCarthy's case, it's political expediency— and because he already attached himself to the president," the GOP insider told Good Morning DC. 

For the rest of the Republicans, a departure point has arrived: for some, a choice of moral obligation and for others, of political preservation. Let's take a look at the very complex dynamics and actors in play, shall we?

It's the day of impeachment, the Sequel. Mitch McConnel is "pleased," and Liz Cheney will vote to impeach the President. In Texas, Trump said yesterday that the "25th Amendment will come back to haunt the Biden Administration".

While some speculate that the Democrats may wait the first 100 days before setting the trial date, people close to President-Elect Biden do not think that this is a good idea. How, then, would Biden be talking about bringing the country together? Democrats want to invoke the impeachment articles but then, also, want to invoke Article 14, which would not allow Trump to run for President again. From a strategic point of view, Republicans who are jumping ship want to prevent Trump from controlling the Republican Party and running for President ever again. 

Democrats from swing districts do not want to have Trump's presidency looming overhead, so they want to cut him loose and neutralize him as fast as possible. 

This morning, Trump will be sitting in front of the TV watching impeachment proceedings to see who is with him and who is not.

Although it is Lindsey Graham who has said he has had it enough, it was Liz Cheney and Mitch McConnell who meant it. The line in the sand has been drawn. 

The truth of the matter is the first one to get fed up was Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary of George W Bush, who coordinated the former Defense Secretaries' letter in the Washington Post.

"Dick Cheney has always been good at being behind the scenes and pulling strings," the GOP insider told Good Morning DC. "In this case, it was Dick Cheney that charted the path for his daughter to now say 'enough, we're voting to impeach you,'” the source observed.

What both Liz Cheney and Mitch McConnell said with their statements on the eve of the impeachment vote is that they will purge the Republican Party of Trump and Trumpism. Republicans are going to move to impeach Trump because one way or the other, whether Republicans vote for it or not, he is likely to be impeached. 

"What they're saying is, it's time. And I think that's a very, very important statement for them right now," the GOP insider concluded.   

The GOP's breakup with Trump is led by the old guard, the traditionalist. These are the standard-bearers of the Republican party, those who believe in the Republican Party, and the old-time Republicans. They supported Trump because he was the nominee. Some did so begrudgingly and some even held their noses while they did so. But what tipped the scale towards cutting Trump loose is that he put Congresspeople in harm's way. 

"It's gotten to a point where Trump embarrassed himself. He embarrassed the party. He's embarrassed the country. Now we have a reason to say 'Enough. It's time to move on and purge Trump and Trumpism," a former senior White House Official told Good Morning DC. 

The backstory of McConnell's fallout with Trump was linear, and a breaking point was signaled when his wife, Elaine Chao resigned. What are the major events we know about? First, we know that Trump and McConnell haven't spoken since December 15, 2020, when McConnell congratulated Joe Biden on his victory. We know that Biden has now talked with McConnell multiple times. On Monday, they talked about whether or not the Senate can proceed with impeachment and confirmation hearings. 

Biden has spoken with McConnell twice as many times, at least, than McConnell has spoken with Trump. That, in itself, speaks volumes about McConnell's relationship with and the direction he envisions for the Republican party. 

Still, why would McConnell, who Democrats once called “Moscow Mitch”, make a pact with Biden? In politics, it is always essential to know where someone is in the election cycle. With election stakes come perspective. McConnell just won reelection. He's approaching the end of his career and will remain senator for the next six years. McConnell has nothing to lose. In his mind, he's playing with 'house money,' to use a fitting gambling analogy. Old-guard McConnell cares about his legacy and the Senate rules. He developed a relationship with Biden over the many years the two have spent together in politics. In the Senate, while they served together, their offices were close to each other. For Biden and McConnell to have this relationship is not out of the ordinary. 

Moreover, in his heart, McConnell knows that Biden is going to have a problem with the progressive wing of the party, just like McConnell is going to have a problem with Trump’s wing of the party. 

Washington wants to know why Trump did not respond to phone calls during the US Capitol's siege, and why it took him so long to respond to the violence that erupted.

"Because he was conflicted," Trump's confidant told Good Morning DC. "Trump is a tortured soul. He knows what he should be doing. But it's impossible for him ever to do the right thing." According to an insider in Trump's orbit, Trump is a man who is in perpetual internal conflict, wanting to be accepted and loved but, at the same time, wanting people to fear him.

When Trump was President-Elect, he interviewed a candidate at the Trump Tower for Secretary of State. The candidate observed that, for the whole time, he received the impression that Trump had an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The angel being Reince Priebus and the devil being Steve Bannon, the other two present in the room.

The Secretary of State candidate stated then that he had a feeling that with Trump, eventually, the "devil would always win." Is soul for purchase in Washington DC? "Be careful what you wish for," sounds like something Mephistopheles would say.

That play of good and evil is a familiar dichotomy of storytelling, but it is also true of Trump's presidency. Trump had an opportunity to "drain the swamp," but those who helped him get there eventually jumped ship, telling Good Morning DC that they did not sign up for "him to drain the swamp and then replace it with his own swamp." 

Stephen Miller is staying with Trump until the end. Miller's wife is Mike Pence's Press Secretary. Was she inside the US Capitol with Pence when the violence broke out? Where was Stephen Miller --  at the White House watching television? 

One of my sources, a family member of a US Capitol police officer, sent me this note regarding the failed insurrection on January 6:

What was scary was all the screaming he could hear from the radio, the voices, and the other police officers calling for reinforcement. After one hour or so, the mob was cleared;  They began sweeping the rooms. Witnessing the destruction and the condition the US Capitol was left in, shocked him. Then, he went to post for the state electoral college confirmation voting that took place afterward.

The event continues to affect the US Capitol Police Force, as they remain on guard. The letter continued: Now they are working every day 12 hours a day, and that's also tiring, because -- you know, from covering the WH news -- there is an alarm for another attack. 

Officers must proceed with caution. Each day presents the opportunity for a new threat. Preparedness has become the focus of the force. The source explained:"They are tired. No time off. They are worried. They wished they had had help that day. He could hear the yelling of the protestors on the radio and his colleagues calling for reinforcement. And we all know how late they arrived. Now they are on high-alert, starting January 14th all the way till Inauguration Day."

That's a wrap for the morning of Impeachment, the Sequel. "Treading water is the same as drowning," Frank Underwood once warned. Seven days left. Good luck, I'll be watching.

 

                                                                                                               ***

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Good Morning DC, your daily briefing into power center Wahington DC is here. Good Morning DC takes you to the heart of the stories that matter. Get the most important stories of the day through the eyes of the editor-in-chief, Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer. Delivered to your inbox every morning Monday to Friday. Send tips to goodmorningdc@thepavlovictoday.com

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