WATCH: GOP Senator Appears To Defend Trump’s Desire To Steal 2020
Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) appeared to defend President Donald Trump’s desire to influence the 2020 election with foreign assistance during an appearance on CNN Thursday, sidestepping questions over whether a president has the right to do whatever it takes to win reelection.
CNN hosts Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow asked Barrasso about Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz’s argument on the Senate floor this week that because Trump believes his reelection is in the national interest, his quid pro quo with Ukraine’s president was not corrupt. In effect, Dershowitz claimed that if a president deems his reelection in the public's best interest, then he or she can do virtually anything they want to make their reelection happen.
“What’s your reaction to that extremely expansive definition of presidential power?” Sciutto asked Barrasso. “Do you reject that argument?”
“What I’m saying is, presidents have specific powers under the Constitution. I listened to Dershowitz make that case yesterday, and what he is saying is even if the case is proven by the House, it still doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment,” Barrasso responded, sidestepping the question.
The Republican then turned to former President Barack Obama to prove his point that all presidents believe it is in the national interest that they be reelected.
Barrasso also said that Dershowitz’s argument is not the same as former President Richard Nixon’s, after Sciutto and Harlow played a clip of Nixon arguing in an interview that illegal actions are no longer illegal when taken by a sitting president.
The senator maintained that he has heard nothing during the Senate trial to show that Trump’s actions rise to the level of an impeachable offense. Barrasso added that as a whole, Republicans are ready to vote to acquit the president.