One rank-and-file Republican lawmaker has said what most others in his party aren’t willing to: He thinks President Donald Trump’s children — including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner — should be out of the White House.
After recent revelations that Donald Trump Jr. knowingly took a meeting with a lawyer connected to the Russian government who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton during the campaign, Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) told the Texas CBS affiliate KBTX that the Trump kids shouldn’t be involved in the executive branch.
"I'm going out on a limb here, but I would say that I think it would be in the president's best interest if he removed all of his children from the White House," Flores said. "Not only Donald Trump but Ivanka and Jared Kushner."
While Trump Jr. has since been charged with running the president’s businesses and doesn’t hold an official position, Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and Kushner, her husband, are advisers in the White House — they have security clearance and have made several public appearances on governmental matters. Most recently Ivanka joined her father at the G20 summit in Germany.
The email chain depicting Trump Jr.’s communiqués with an associate who promised to set up a meeting with “a Russian government lawyer” who had compromising information about President Trump’s campaign opponent was perhaps the most explosive evidence thus far in the Russia scandal. The chain shows that Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort were also looped into the conversation. Trump Jr. tweeted the emails himself shortly before the New York Times reported their contents.
Flores is among the few Republicans on Capitol Hill who have taken a clear position on the Trump children’s White House involvement.
While the contents of the email chain, and Trump Jr. being the source behind them, left little room for congressional Republicans to come to Trump Jr.’s defense, most lawmakers, eager to stay focused on health care and tax reform, have stayed mum on the scandal. Most Republicans are claiming only that the meeting shouldn’t have happened and that the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties should continue.
"I do find issues with the meeting. It's a meeting that should not have taken place. I think he thought he was looking out for his father's best interest," Flores said, a statement closer to those of his colleagues, who, if they point to anything, say Trump Jr. just didn’t know any better.