GOP Senator Says It’s Not His Job To Speak Up When Trump Lies

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October 25, 2017 9:23 a.m.

In contrast to his colleague Jeff Flake, Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) does not think it’s his job to call out President Donald Trump when he makes baseless, untruthful claims.

Flake called on GOP senators to speak out against Trump in a barnburner of a speech Tuesday afternoon announcing his retirement from the Senate. After Flake’s speech, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Risch, “When [Trump] lies about something and you know it’s a lie, shouldn’t you speak up?”

“That’s your job,” Risch quickly responded.

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Blitzer then argued that it is Risch’s job as a senator to challenge untruths.

In response, Risch said it would be too time-consuming for him to address every statement from a lawmaker with whom he doesn’t agree.

“Wolf, if I went around criticizing a statement that was made by the President, or any one of my fellow senators, or any one of the congressmen up here, or people in Idaho who hold public office, and I stood up and talked every time they talked and said, ‘I don’t like this, I don’t like that,’ I’m criticizing — I’d be busy all day long,” Risch said.

Blitzer pointed to Flake’s argument that Republicans who do not stand up to Trump are “complicit.”

“That’s his view,” Risch replied. “That is not my view.”

Watch a clip from the interview via CNN:

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