Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) gave a noticeably less harsh assessment of the House impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Wednesday than she’d previously expressed.
During an appearance on the local NBC-affiliated 12 News morning show, McSally accused House Democratic leaders of handling the inquiry in a partisan manner — but wouldn’t say outright if she agreed with the White House’s claim that Democrats’ case for impeachment doesn’t have any merit.
“This a serious matter, like I’ve said, and I think we’ve seen some partisan dynamics going on,” she said. “And I think as Americans, none of us should be throwing around the ‘I-word’ as if it’s a joke.”
The Republican senator emphasized the need for bipartisanship in the impeachment process.
“I think people want us to take a serious look at this and not have it be just partisan bickering going on,” McSally said. “People are tired of that, as am I.”
Her comments strike a softer tone on the impeachment inquiry, which she had previously slammed as a “total distraction” and a politically disastrous “kamikaze mission” for the Democrats.
“Literally they are on a path to re-elect the President, keep the Senate majority [Republican] and possibly flip the House,” McSally told Politico in September. “It’s a total distraction.”
McSally is running for reelection in what political analysts consider to be a toss-up race against Democratic challenger Mark Kelly, who has out-raised McSally three quarters in a row.