Politics

Two Republican senators criticize Trump’s ‘reich’ post — but most plead ignorance

GOP senators on Tuesday largely pleaded ignorance about a social media post from former President Donald Trump that invoked a potential “unified reich” if he wins a second term, though several condemned his team for using language that suggests empire-building and carries a connection to Adolf Hitler’s control of Nazi Germany.

“I don’t know why you would say such a thing,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a staunch Trump ally.

The Trump campaign has attributed to the post a staffer’s error, and Graham added that the aide who posted the image “should be dealt with.”

He wasn’t alone. “To use that term in this day and age is simply inappropriate, and it’s got to be corrected,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).

Trump’s account shared the post referencing a “unified reich” on Monday as he stands trial in New York on criminal charges connected to alleged hush-money payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels. The term “reich” is broadly associated with empires but commonly known via the “Third Reich” regime of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler during World War II.

The former president ignored a question about the post outside a New York courtroom on Tuesday.

Beyond Graham and Rounds, a number of Republican senators returned to a familiar line from Trump’s first term in office — saying they simply hadn’t seen the divisive post when informed of its contents. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), when told POLITICO wished to ask a question involving Trump, replied simply: “No, thanks.” (He has made clear he won’t support Trump this fall.)

Others saying they weren’t aware of the post included Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), John Kennedy (La.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Dan Sullivan (Alaska).

“I don’t comment on stuff I don’t see and don’t know about,” Sullivan said.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) conceded that the invocation of the World War II-era “reich” term was problematic but said there were other contrasts between Trump and President Joe Biden to highlight.

“I just don’t know what to make of it, but there’s enough real to talk about,” he said in a brief interview.

The office of Speaker Mike Johnson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Just add it to the list of reasons why I won’t vote for him,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a frequent Trump critic.

Burgess Everett and Daniella Diaz contributed to this report. 

GOP senators on Tuesday largely pleaded ignorance about a social media post from former President Donald Trump that invoked a potential “unified reich” if he wins a second term, though several condemned his team for using language that suggests empire-building and carries a connection to Adolf Hitler’s control of Nazi Germany.
“I don’t know why you would say such a thing,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a staunch Trump ally.
The Trump campaign has attributed to the post a staffer’s error, and Graham added that the aide who posted the image “should be dealt with.”
He wasn’t alone. “To use that term in this day and age is simply inappropriate, and it’s got to be corrected,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).
Trump’s account shared the post referencing a “unified reich” on Monday as he stands trial in New York on criminal charges connected to alleged hush-money payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels. The term “reich” is broadly associated with empires but commonly known via the “Third Reich” regime of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler during World War II.The former president ignored a question about the post outside a New York courtroom on Tuesday.
Beyond Graham and Rounds, a number of Republican senators returned to a familiar line from Trump’s first term in office — saying they simply hadn’t seen the divisive post when informed of its contents. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), when told POLITICO wished to ask a question involving Trump, replied simply: “No, thanks.” (He has made clear he won’t support Trump this fall.)
Others saying they weren’t aware of the post included Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), John Kennedy (La.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Dan Sullivan (Alaska).
“I don’t comment on stuff I don’t see and don’t know about,” Sullivan said.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) conceded that the invocation of the World War II-era “reich” term was problematic but said there were other contrasts between Trump and President Joe Biden to highlight.
“I just don’t know what to make of it, but there’s enough real to talk about,” he said in a brief interview.
The office of Speaker Mike Johnson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Just add it to the list of reasons why I won’t vote for him,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a frequent Trump critic.
Burgess Everett and Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.   

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