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GOP Strategist: Trump's an 'Anchor Around Your Neck'

And the president's attorney Jay Sekulow defends his "witch hunt" tweet
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2018 2:00 PM CDT
GOP Strategist: Trump's an 'Anchor Around Your Neck'
In this file photo, Republican strategist Mike Murphy speaks during a taping of "Meet the Press" at the NBC studios.   (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press)

(Newser) – A Republican strategist had harsh words Sunday for GOP candidates who take their pro-Trump primary message into this year's general elections, the Hill reports. "Now you come out ... from the 'Trump church' in the Republican primary with a big Trump halo," says Mike Murphy on NBC's Meet the Press. "But in the general election, Democrats all hate Trump and among Independents he's mostly upside-down. So what is your magic light sword in the primary becomes an anchor around your neck in the general." Murphy laments that such "all Trump all the time" candidates are commonplace: "It's like the Stalin trials now. If you wore the collectivist tie, you're out of order. It's the new reality of the Republican primary." For more around the dial:

  • The lies: "This has never happened before," says ex-White House press secretary Joe Lockhart, a veteran of Bill Clinton's administration, on CNN's Reliable Sources, per the Hill. "We've had great presidents, we've had terrible presidents, Republicans and Democrats, but we've never had anything like this—where we have a president who is incapable of telling the truth."
  • The narcissism: "Our message is rescue America—and we will rescue America—from the grasp of an unhinged narcissist who is creating ... chaos," says Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, on ABC's This Week, per USA Today.

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  • The interview: "A subpoena for live testimony has never been tested in court as to a president of the United States," says Trump attorney Jay Sekulow on This Week regarding Robert Mueller seeking the president's testimony, per Politico. "It's hard-pressed to see why they need the president's testimony."
  • The mistake: "I had bad information at that time and made a mistake in my statement," adds Sekulow, about his denial last year that Trump had approved a statement about Donald Trump Jr's "Russia meeting" at Trump Tower, per CNN. "I've talked about that before. That happens when you have cases like this."
  • The tweets: "Obstruction of justice by tweet is absurd," says Sekulow, rejecting the notion that Trump's Wednesday tweet pressing Jeff Sessions to "stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now" was obstruction of justice, per Newsday.
  • The laws: "The question is how would it be illegal," says Sekulow of the Trump Tower meeting, per Business Insider. "You have to look at what laws, rules, regulations, statutes are purportedly violated here." Host George Stephanopoulos responds that experts have pointed out "several" laws, "including conspiracy to defraud the United States" and "aiding and abetting conspiracy."
  • The evidence: There's "plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy in plain sight," Rep. Adam Schiff says on Face the Nation, per CBS News. But that's different, he adds, from "proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a criminal conspiracy."
(Read more Sunday morning talk shows stories.)

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