I want to make it clear that this was simply a verbal rebuke, and that the two most powerful Republicans outside the Executive and Judicial Branches are not using their actual power to follow through on their concern. That said, this is about as overt a condemnation of Trump that you will hear from his chief enablers in the House and Senate.
"We value the NATO treaty [and] we believe the European Union countries are our friends and the Russians are not," McConnell said Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/ZcOv2KYKYm— POLITICO (@politico) July 17, 2018
WATCH: Speaker Ryan:
"We just conducted a yearlong investigation into Russia's interference in our elections. They did interfere in our elections. It's really clear. There should be no doubt about that." pic.twitter.com/q8kCgeOFzJ— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 17, 2018
Given that the prime motivator for all Republicans is to avoid getting primaried from the Trumpian right, don’t expect these two spineless husks to do anything substantive to act on these statements any time soon. The best we can hope is that these hollow displays can stem the tide of Republicans willing to sign on to Vladimir Putin’s bleak and kleptocratic worldview solely because it was endorsed by the President of the United States.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.