What do Republicans think of President Trump's most controversial tweets? Conveniently enough, they apparently haven't read them. The New York Times reports that journalists printed out copies of the most recent example—Trump's suggestion that the man pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo was actually an antifa plant—so that they could show it to GOP lawmakers when asking about the tweet. The goal was to keep them from simply responding that they hadn't seen the president's tweet or didn't know about it, an "extraordinary" phenomenon in which members of the party behave "as if they have no idea what he is doing or saying," the Times notes. Only, the tactic didn't work; many lawmakers simply averted their eyes and declined to comment or look at the printed-out tweet as they walked through Capitol Hill hallways; others, NBC News reports, said they have a policy of not commenting on Trump's tweets. At least one simply walked away. Some of the responses:
- "Oh lord, ugh." That came from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who has come under Trump's wrath after recently saying she may not vote for him. She did read the tweet when presented with it, and gasped.
- "I saw the tweet. It was a shocking thing to say, and I won’t dignify it with any further comment." That was from Sen. Mitt Romney, who has also sparked Trump's ire, most recently after Romney marched with a Black Lives Matter protest.
- "I haven’t read the damn thing. I don’t want to hear it," said Sen. Pat Roberts. The Hill notes that when Roberts was informed the reporter had a copy of the tweet to show him, the senator said, "I know. I'd just as soon not."
- "I don't read Twitter, I only write on it," said Sen. Marco Rubio.
- "I don't even know the episode he's talking about," said Sen. Kevin Cramer, claiming ignorance of the entire Buffalo controversy. He added, "If we sat around all day and just worried about what the president tweeted instead of legislating, then we’d be caught in your vortex."
- "No real response to it but I don’t think it should be surprising in general because he tweets a lot," said Sen. Mike Braun.
- "It’s a serious accusation which should only be made with facts and evidence. And I haven’t seen any yet," said Sen. John Thune.
- "I think it would be best if the president would not comment on issues that are before the courts," said Sen. Susan Collins.
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