'The ship deserting the sinking rat': How will Republicans respond to mounting allegations against Trump?

As the Mueller probe gets closer to the Oval Office, one experts argues the political cost of defending U.S. President Donald Trump against "clearly impeachable offences" could become too much for Republicans.

It could become 'increasingly embarrassing' for Republicans to defend Trump: prof

The relationship between the president and Republicans in the U.S. Senate is 'totally transactional,' said editor and professor Robert Kuttner. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)
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The political cost of defending U.S. President Donald Trump against "clearly impeachable offences" could become too much for Republicans ahead of the next presidential election, according to an editor and professor.

"You can imagine Republicans saying: 'Let's just get this guy out, so that we can have a clean slate with President Pence … instead of having to drag down the entire ticket in 2020," said Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect and a professor in the school of public policy at Brandeis University.

On Tuesday, the sentencing of Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, was postponed. Flynn pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts. The delay in sentencing will allow him to continue co-operating with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between the Kremlin and Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

When Trump becomes excess baggage, you do have the prospect of the ship deserting the sinking rat.- Robert Kuttner

Kuttner told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti that the relationship between the president and Republicans in the U.S. Senate is "totally transactional."

As the Mueller probe gets closer to the Oval Office, it could become "increasingly embarrassing" for the party to defend him, he added.

"When Trump becomes excess baggage, you do have the prospect of the ship deserting the sinking rat."

To recap events so far and look at the possible political fallout, Tremonti spoke to:

  • Dahlia Lithwick, who covers the courts and the law for Slate, and hosts the podcast Amicus
  • Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect and a professor in the school of public policy at Brandeis University in Massachusetts

Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.


Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Idella Sturino and Howard Goldenthal. 

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