The Daily Beast

GOP Senators Will Say This Much: Trump Photo Op Wasn’t a Good Look

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Real revolts within the congressional GOP over Donald Trump’s words and deeds have been rare over the last three years. And it didn’t take long to see that one of the starkest moments of the Trump presidency—the clearing of White House protesters with gas so he could cross the street to St. John’s Church to hold up a Bible for the cameras—was not going to be one of them.

As the fallout from the photo op seen around the world settled on Tuesday, Senate Republicans found themselves in a familiar spot: offering a mix of defiant support for whatever it was that liberals were mad at Trump about, attempts at justification for Trump’s conduct, and plenty of attempts to claim they actually hadn’t seen enough to comment. 

Asked by a reporter if what happened on Monday night outside the White House was an abuse of power, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) replied in the affirmative—“by the protesters,” Cruz noted, before winding up a diatribe against so-called the “Antifa” instigators who are the president’s favored explanation for the unrest gripping the nation.

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