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Defending Trump against impeachment is getting harder for GOP

7:12 a.m. If the House does move to impeach President Trump, it would be up to the Republican-controlled Senate to hold his trial.

Just a handful of Republicans have raised concerns over the president’s contacts with foreign leaders but there does not seem to be a unified defense of the president. Privately, some Republicans say it just isn’t worth it to take him on, even if they disapprove of his actions, reports CBS News’ Nancy Cordes.

One reason why? The president hits back, and his approval rating within the Republican Party is strong. The latest Gallup Poll – which was taken as reports of the president’s call to Ukraine unfolded – came in at 87%.

Maine Senator Susan Collins is one of the few Republicans willing to call the president out, also telling the Bangor Daily News, “I thought the president made a big mistake by asking China to get involved in investigating a political opponent.”

Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse responded “Americans don’t look to Chinese commies for truth” and Utah’s Mitt Romney called the president’s plea “wrong and appalling.”

Still, most Republicans have downplayed Mr. Trump’s actions or stayed silent, but defending him has gotten more difficult.”I doubt if the China comment was serious, to tell you the truth,” Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said on “Face the Nation” this Sunday.

Blunt says not to take Trump’s request for Biden probes seriously

Asked if he doesn’t take the president at his word, Blunt said, “The president was–no, the president loves to go out on the–on the White House driveway. I haven’t talked to him about this. I don’t know what the president was thinking. But I know he loves to bait the press.”

– Nancy Cordes

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