Senate Republicans have stuck with President Donald Trump through thick and thin — so you know when he’s lost them, he’s truly off the edge. Another Republican has now decried Trump’s recommendation of Herman Cain for the Federal Reserve Board, bringing the total as of Thursday afternoon to four — which means that the nomination almost certainly wouldn’t make it if it did come before the full Senate. With a 53 seat majority, four dissenters gives the Senate Republican caucus only 49 votes to work with.
On Thursday, Trump ally Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) told reporters that considering the past allegations of sexual misconduct that derailed his 2012 presidential campaign, there’s not a clear way he could see to supporting the nomination.
‘It’s hard for me to get over the harassment allegations from the past. His showmanship doesn’t bother me, his business experience I think is great, simplifying the tax code is fine by me, but character still does matter. I know more things about him that would keep him out than would get him in. I’d be happy to go through the whole vetting process, but it’s so uphill it’s hard for me to see him getting up there.’
It’s amazing in the worst way considering the past allegations that Trump even floated his name for the Federal Reserve in the first place.
It’s unclear what, if any bar the Trump team has for how far is too far when it comes to sexual misconduct allegations. They pushed Brett Kavanaugh through to the U.S. Supreme Court even after multiple women came forward publicly with sexual misconduct allegations against him, and Cain faced similarly unsettling revelations, including from Sharon Bialek, who says Cain intensely groped her when she sought employment advice in the 90s. Three other women also alleged harassment.
In short, it’s the Trump-ian mindset that he’s shared of being free to shoot someone and still earn votes in action on a slightly different front. He might as well be operating under the assumption that he can nominate Vladimir Putin to lead the FBI and his base would still stick by him.
Still, he’s losing Republican support in the Senate over Cain’s suggested nomination. Besides Cramer, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Ak.), Cory Gardner (Co.), and Mitt Romney (Utah) have all signaled their opposition.
Democrats, of course, have made their own opposition to the nomination abundantly clear. House Democratic caucus chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) had a fitting summation, offering:
‘It’s not clear to me whether that’s reality or a Saturday Night Live skit. It’s an embarrassment. The likelihood is [Trump’s latest Federal Reserve Board nominations] will be withdrawn because even Republicans are aghast at the fact that you could nominate singularly unqualified individuals such as Herman Cain.’
It’s hardly the only concerning nomination to circulate lately. This week, the Senate confirmed David Bernhardt to lead the Interior Department, despite the fact that energy and water industries that he used to represent as a lobbyist are now under his purview. Ironically enough, Bernhardt replaced Ryan Zinke, who himself went out under a heavy cloud of ethics concerns, including his own potential financial benefit from the oil industry he was supposed to be impartially governing.
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