Speaking to Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House program, Eli Stokols, who works as a White House reporter for The Los Angeles Times, said that Republican lawmakers have grown increasingly nervous about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and are considering dumping President Donald Trump for the good of the party.
The president and his attorney Rudy Giuliani “on some level believe that they can continue to attack the investigators, to try and convince the public that there is something nefarious and something politically motivated about this,” Stokols told Wallace.
But when all the facts are laid out and people can see the investigators’ work, I think it’s going to be very problematic for this president. And there is some understanding, I think, inside the White House of just how dark it may be getting… [there are] private conversations people there are having with Republicans on the Hill who are starting to be concerned.
Stokols confirmed that Republican lawmakers “are starting to tell me privately—some of them—if there’s obvious evidence, the bottom’s going to fall out. They’re not going to be able to stand by this White House and that’s a looming problem for the president.”
Stokols also agreed with Wallace when she noted that prosecutors with the Southern District of New York could, “without all of the hoopla and politicking and attacks from the president…transmit their findings to Congress if they want to,” saying that “it’s much harder to stop what’s happening in that office as opposed to with the special counsel’s investigation.”
“This train has left the station, there’s really nothing that this White House can do about it,” he added. “I think that’s a source of frustration to the president, and also it’s difficult to politicize. It’s difficult to go out and demonize that office because, as you pointed out already, that’s a Trump appointee running that office.”
Stokols’s observations come after the special counsel noted in a sentencing memo that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen provided “credible” and “useful” information for the investigation into Russia’s subversion of the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller also recommended no prison time for Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying and misleading federal investigators. Flynn met numerous times with the special counsel and provided him with substantial information about the inner-workings of the Trump campaign and its coordination with Russian operatives.
President Trump has continued to denounce the investigation, at one point claiming that he had been “cleared” of any wrongdoing.
What's Your Reaction?
Alan is an editor whose work has been featured in such publications as Salon, The Advocate, Plus Magazine, and The Huffington Post. As a member of Team Takei, Alan has worked with actor and activist George Takei to push progressive policy initiatives. Alan was born, raised, and still lives and works in New York City, which makes him a member of a dying breed. Email: Alan@HillReporter.com