Trump rages over Republican defections as Democrats press on impeachment

click to enlarge President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a cabinet meeting at the White House on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. The president lashed out at House Democrats and expressed frustration at members of his own party. - ANNA MONEYMAKER/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a cabinet meeting at the White House on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. The president lashed out at House Democrats and expressed frustration at members of his own party.
By Michael D. Shear
The New York Times Company

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, increasingly embittered by an impeachment inquiry that Democrats are intensifying by the day, complained on Monday that Republicans were not united enough in defending him against what he called “vicious” adversaries bent on removing him.

Trump lashed out at Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the only member of his party who has signaled he may be open to impeaching Trump, arguing that the senator’s defection showed weakness in the party.

Launching into a series of attacks on Democrats, Trump said approvingly they were “vicious and they stick together. They don’t have Mitt Romney in their midst — they don’t have people like that.”


“They stick together,” Trump added, during a lengthy question-and-answer session with reporters at a Cabinet meeting. “You never see them break off.”

It was the second time in as many days that Trump — coming to terms with the fact that he will most likely be impeached by the Democrat-led House within weeks and face a Senate trial immediately after — has complained about a lack of support from Republicans as he faces the greatest threat yet to his presidency.

click to enlarge Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wed., Oct. 16, 2019. President Donald Trump has lashed out at Romney, the only member of his party who has signaled he may be open to impeaching the president. - ANNA MONEYMAKER/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wed., Oct. 16, 2019. President Donald Trump has lashed out at Romney, the only member of his party who has signaled he may be open to impeaching the president.
The president’s angry response comes as Democrats, determined to sustain public attention and support for the impeachment inquiry, keep up a daily drumbeat of depositions, subpoenas and new revelations. They are pressing to keep momentum for the investigation with meticulous planning, frequent talking points for lawmakers and a steady menu of incremental developments to feed to a press corps hungry to cover a historic proceeding.

At the same time, cracks have emerged in the normally unapologetic monolith of Republican support for Trump on Capitol Hill as the impeachment inquiry marches on. Some Republicans, already uneasy about the allegations at the heart of the Ukraine inquiry, have grown increasingly uncomfortable with Trump’s behavior, and unwilling to defend him on a range of topics, including his decision to pull back U.S. troops from Syria and his plan — abruptly abandoned in the face of a bipartisan outcry — to hold the Group of 7 summit of world leaders at one of his resorts in Florida.

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