Republicans have publicly downplayed Comey’s testimony, but privately they’re nervous that they’re burning through the legislative calendar while remaining deadlocked over healthcare reform. Meanwhile, unfinished work on tax reform, infrastructure investment and the budget piles up behind it.
The biggest frustration for many Republican lawmakers is that Trump has helped keep the controversy in the headlines by picking fights with the media on Twitter instead of keeping the focus on his own agenda or simply staying quiet at key moments.
“At minimum, it is an unforced PR nightmare that’s gone on for far too long and at maximum it could be something approaching a scandal,” said one Senate GOP strategist.
“The story doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Whether or not there’s something there, it’s been a huge drag on the last couple of months and I hope they figure out to stop it soon,” he added.