WASHINGTON – A group of House Democrats are supporting a “resolution of no confidence” in President Trump, arguing that his presidency poses a “threat” to America and lacks “compassion.”
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) opened a Wednesday press conference by playing Steve Alaimo’s “Every Day I Have to Cry Some,” saying the song describes what it is like waking up “every morning” to a Trump presidency. The song contains the lyrics, “Every day I have to cry some, dry the water from my eyes some, every day I have to cry.”
Cohen, who skipped the inauguration, said six months is a “sufficient time period” to judge Trump’s performance on the job.
“This is an attempt at a political intervention,” Cohen told reporters. “Our country is at risk.”
Cohen said Trump’s exit from the Paris climate accord was a decision that “threatens the very planet” on which we live. The congressman cited the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, the collection of Trump licensing fees from the United Kingdom, revenue from Trump International Hotel in D.C. and receiving funds from tenants in Trump Tower as reasons for the resolution.
“He’s truth challenged. This is not the way a government and a country should be,” he said.
Cohen explained that the “no confidence” resolution directs Trump to “refrain from using Twitter inappropriately” and release his tax returns.
“It’s just a sad day for America that we’ve come to this point to say we have no confidence in the president of the United States,” he said. “When he meets with Putin, we feel like we are the underdog. We feel like Putin is Sonny Liston and we’re Floyd Patterson. We can’t take a punch. We don’t even know what we’re going into.”
Cohen doubted that Trump is letting his sons run the Trump Organization while he serves as president.
“To imagine that he’s letting Eric and Donald Jr. run his business, no, he wouldn’t do that,” he said.
Cohen predicted Republicans would join Democrats in opposing Trump when that there’s a “Saturday night massacre,” which he said is going to happen eventually, referring to the attorney general and deputy attorney general quitting over President Nixon’s 1973 order to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox.
“There will be a time I see in the future when Mr. [Rod] Rosenstein will have to decide whether his integrity or his position is more important and I think he’ll choose his integrity,” he said. “And they’ll go down the line until you find a 2017 [Robert] Bork and then Mr. Muller will be fired, and then at that point I think Republicans will call for an independent prosecutor.”
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) said she hopes Republicans begin to recognize the “threat” Trump poses to America each and every day.
“What is the majority party afraid of? He lies, he cheats, he colludes with foreign adversaries,” she said.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said Trump has “had an achievement list of zero.”
“It is the untruths that have been told to the American people. There are no jobs. There is no beautiful trade bill and all that we can hear are indictments, accusations and bad words toward innocent people – the press, protected by the First Amendment, other fellow elected officials, heads of states, personal citizens – all have been attacked by the individual who holds the Oval Office,” Jackson Lee said.
“Let me be clear: I do not have anything personal against Donald Trump. What I do have is an acknowledgement constitutionally of the respect of the office of president of the United States,” she added.
She cited as reasons for the resolution the Russian influence investigation and Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others after the former was promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the latter.
“Trickling out – one after one after one – the administration supporting these actions of the American people not knowing who was in the room,” she said.
Jackson Lee said Trump has not fully acknowledged Russia’s campaign influence operation aimed at the 2016 election.
“Even in the so-called discussion with Mr. Putin recently, there was never a complete acknowledgment and recognition of that involvement,” she said.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) said Trump’s job performance is driving America’s “faith in government” to a “dangerously” low level.
“From his shady business dealings to his defense of his son’s illicit Russia meeting as just politics, it’s clear that President Trump has no idea what makes this country great,” she said. “Instead, he sees the government as a way to enrich himself and his family and to trample everybody else in the process. And the Republican Congress, instead of serving as a check, is serving as a doormat.”
Chu said she is supporting the resolution because she believes in a system of checks and balances.
“Some of us still believe in ethical government that cares about the people. Some of us still believe in checks and balances and that’s why we are introducing this resolution. We are driving a line that Trump’s behavior does not reflect who we are as a country,” she said.
Chu mentioned Trump’s recent “sexist” tweets about Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski.
“This is not a president who respects our norms, our laws or even our party. He has no compassion, and therefore he does not have our confidence,” she said.
Cohen said 23 House Democrats have joined the resolution so far.