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

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.

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:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: