The Trump White House has done essentially no damage control in the aftermath of reports that ousted FBI Director James Comey wrote a memo alleging that Trump tried to kill a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. No talking points have been distributed, and few reassurances have been given to Republicans, leaving frazzled and exhausted lawmakers to freelance their own response.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), whose job in leadership is to help Republicans formulate a message and conceivably defend a president of their own party, had received no outreach from the White House as of Wednesday afternoon.
“I’ve not heard that from them. I’ve heard nothing. I should, shouldn’t I? I’m not sure that there’s that level of organization,” Thune said. “For most people this is kind of: Formulate and express your own point of view if you want to.”
It’s a sharp break from past White Houses, which typically would coordinate responses to damaging leaks or negative news stories with key allies on Capitol Hill. And the lack of communication between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is compounded by the sheer magnitude and pace of the crises coming out of the White House on a daily basis.