Sitting inside the White House, Mitch McConnell gave President Donald Trump some straightforward advice: Stop attacking senators — including Mitt Romney — who will likely soon judge your fate in an impeachment trial…
And in this case, Trump appears to have listened to the man in the Senate who controls the future of his presidency.
The president is largely laying off senators with difficult calculations to make in the coming months, declining to lobby the likes of GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Marco Rubio of Florida, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Johnny Isakson of Georgia. And he’s largely laying off Romney after suggesting he should be impeached and calling him a “pompous ‘ass.’”
Instead, White House officials are leaning on Trump’s impromptu meetings at the White House and his direct calls to Republican senators including Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and John Kennedy of Louisiana. It’s a bet the cult of Trump’s personality and the power of his prolific Twitter feed will be enough to keep members within the fold, even as House Democrats quickly gather evidence as part of the impeachment proceedings.