Republicans Feel Democrats Are Winning the Impeachment Narrative: Politico Reporter

Republicans Feel Democrats Are Winning the Impeachment Narrative: Politico Reporter

Following the televised testimony of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Republicans are privately concerned that they are having difficulties getting their message across, admitting that Democrats are “winning the narrative” on impeachment, according to a Politico reporter.

On MSNBC’s The 11th Hour on Friday, congressional correspondent Melanie Zanona said Republicans were dismayed by President Trump’s decision to attack Yovanovitch on Twitter as she was testifying.

“Republicans that I talked to were absolutely dumbfounded that he would do this,” she said. “In fact, one Republican wouldn’t even talk to me about it. We sort of caught eyes as he was walking out of the House chamber and he immediately whipped out his phone and I could see his home screen was on; he was clearly not on the phone, he was just avoiding me even as I ran after him.”

The GOP plan, Zanona explained, was to avoid direct attacks on the ambassador so that Democrats couldn’t paint her as a sympathetic figure.

“The problem is that the president came in mid-hearing with a tweet and blew up their entire strategy,” she said.

“It goes to show Republicans will time and time again lay the groundwork for these carefully orchestrated plans and the president will come in and blow it up. And there really are limits to his ‘trust my gut’ instincts when it comes to the impeachment defense,” Zanona explained.

Applause broke out in the committee room when Yovanovitch’s hearing concluded, likely in part due to the real-time attacks from the president, which the former ambassador said were “very intimidating.”

Impulsive stunts like the one Trump pulled on Friday may be taking their toll.

“It makes it harder and harder for Republicans to defend [Trump],” Zanona said. “Not only that but now you have Democrats on Capitol Hill talking about adding witness intimidation to a potential article of impeachment.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.