Senate GOP leader plays down latest Trump controversy

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today announced that he has urged President Trump to nominate Merrick Garland as the new Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

The White House had no immediate comment. Plenty fellow senators gave interviews to the press after Lee mentioned the idea, and a couple Democrats even endorsed the idea - despite the fact it would ultimately hurt progressive policies when Trump got the chance to place a conservative to the powerful D.C. -based appeals court.

"The president has a chance to clean up the mess he mostly created", Graham said, adding: "I have no evidence that the president colluded with the Russians at all. but we don't know all the evidence yet".

And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now expressing his desire that he would like to see "less drama" coming from the White House.

"We appreciate the strong relationship we have with Israel", Spicer said in off-camera comments to reporters. The majority leader deferred to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Several Republicans have suggested Garland, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama past year to serve on the Supreme Court, as a possible replacement for former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by President Donald Trump last week. Like many congressional Republicans, McConnell didn't run to Trump's side - but didn't outright criticize the president either.

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"The administration and intelligence community must immediately and fully brief the House Intelligence Committee on what, if anything, was shared with Russian officials, and whether it could impact either our sensitive sources and methods, or our intelligence-sharing relationships", he said in a statement.

"I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally - and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system", Mr. Clapper said. Senate Democrats like Amy Klobuchar swiftly voiced support. "I don't know the whole story", Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley said when asked for a response.

On Tuesday morning, Trump himself tweeted a near confirmation to the Post's report.

Lee also raised the idea directly with White House staff, according to an aide.

The developing story is expected to consume Congress's attention, particularly as House members return later Tuesday from a week-long recess. "I'm not going to take a memo, I want the guy to come in", said Sen.

By late Monday night, no GOP leaders in the House or Senate had released statements supporting Trump after the disclosure, which was confirmed by multiple other media outlets.

  • Darren Santiago