As the Trump-Russia probe continues to heat up despite weeks of political distraction, daily revelations have resumed, placing the president's circle closer and closer to the Kremlin. At the same time, Trump's advisers have been warning the president about impeachment.
Several White House advisers have met with Trump about the protracted nature of impeachment proceedings, emphasizing that he needs close relationships with lawmakers who would vote on whether he should be removed from office, the Washington Post reported Saturday.
Judging by the president's tweets, that's the last thing on his mind. Trump has continued to alienate members of his own party on Twitter, slamming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for botching Obamacare repeal and Sens. Lisa Murkowski, John McCain and Susan Collins for voting against the bill. He has openly backing a primary challenger to Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), despite the fact that he has voted with the president on his legislation, including the Obamacare-repeal bill.
Some advisers are recommending this as a "triangulation" strategy, to position himself away from both parties in Congress and improving his re-election odds in 2020.
“It’s right out of the Bill Clinton playbook. Triangulation is something that he perfected,” Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign adviser, told The Washington Post.
But the advisers haven't considered that bashing GOP leaders for their failures could depress conservative turnout in the 2018 midterm elections, leading to a Democratic takeover of the House.
Republicans in Congress have begun to break away from the president, with a number of them mentioning him by name in criticizing his handling of Charlottesville. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), previously a Trump ally, said that Trump "has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful."
An August 26 poll released by Harvard University’s Center for American Political Studies and research marketing firm Harris Insights and Analytics shows that 43 percent of Americans believe that the president should be impeached, 42 percent say nothing should be done and 12 percent are unsure.