Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) claimed that his Republican Senate colleagues are more inclined towards Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump—whether or not they admit it in public.
“From a Senate perspective, in a secret ballot, Hillary gets a lot of votes out of the Republican caucus. Potentially she even commands a majority of the Republican caucus in a secret ballot because people really do respect her,” Whitehouse told Buzzfeed News in an interview published Thursday.
The Rhode Island senator recalled a group of Republican senators expressing praise for Clinton during a briefing on a “highly classified matter.”
“Two of them, her very prominent antagonists in this election, and one looked over at the other and said ‘Boy, she’s good.’ The other one leaned back and said, ‘Yeah, she’s really good,’” Whitehouse said. “And that’s the Hillary that they know. Not the talking points Hillary or the caricature, but the real person.”
While some Republicans on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), have said they cannot support Trump, no sitting senator, as of yet, has openly said they would vote for Clinton.
Whitehouse said his Republican colleagues have reason to be wary of how a president Trump would interact with Congress.
“Once the back-and-forth and the nonsense and the election is over, she has a very strong base of credibility, good will, confidence, and relationships to go to, particularly in the Senate,” Whitehouse said. “Donald Trump, on the other hand, has such temperamental problems that it’s hard to see how he would work with us. But he’s also so badly damaged people who have tried to help him. Look at what he did to poor Chris Christie who tried to be his friend and is now almost a national laughingstock as a result of what he’s done to him.”