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Special counsel Robert Mueller's report poses a test for vulnerable Senate Republicans running for reelection, forcing them to decide how far to distance themselves from President Trump heading into 2020.
Mueller declined to pursue charges of conspiracy, illegal coordination or obstruction of justice, but much of his report reflects poorly on the president and reveals there are several more federal investigations that have yet to wrap up.
House - Democrats - Trump - Wake - Report
While House Democrats will need to decide how hard to go to attack Trump in the wake of the report and whether to pursue a politically charged impeachment process, Senate Republicans have to figure out how far to go to defend the president.
“I think Republicans should avoid doing a victory lap. The main thing here was, were the Russians involved in the Trump campaign? Beyond that, the president’s got to defend his own conduct,” said Vin Weber, a GOP strategist. “Republicans should be talking about other things like the economy.”
Republicans - Trump - Conduct - Weber - One
Asked what Republicans should do if they're asked directly about Trump’s conduct, Weber said, “That’s a tough one.”
“I would probably deflect a little bit by saying this: We’ve all gotten used to this being a different kind of president from a different kind of background who conducts himself differently than previous presidents, and beyond that it’s his problem, not mine,” he added.
Republicans - Report - Plays - Constituents - Home
Some expect Republicans to wait to see how the highly anticipated report plays with their constituents back home over the two-week holiday recess.
“Are Republicans privately unhappy with some of Trump’s actions in the report? Yes, of course. But the majority of Republicans are not going to go after the president on this because he has not been charged with a crime,” said another Republican strategist who requested anonymity.
Strategist - Sense - Senate - Republicans - Races
The strategist said it would make sense for Senate Republicans in more competitive races to be critical...
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