WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump faced another threshold day in his presidency Wednesday as Republican allies edged away from him and the Wall Street Journal issued one of its toughest editorials to date.
Reactions from Republican members of Congress will play a large role in how deeply Trump’s current spate of controversies wound his presidency as he prepares for his first trip abroad later in the week.
The Journal, owned by the nation’s most powerful conservative media figure Rupert Murdoch, titled its editorial “Loose Lips Sink Presidencies” and warned Trump that his dual storms over his interactions with fired FBI James Comey and the security secrets he shared with Russian diplomats could prompt allies in Congress to “drift away if he looks like a liability.”
“Mr. Trump needs to appreciate how close he is to losing the Republicans he needs to pass the agenda that will determine if he is successful,” the Journal wrote.
Trump was notably silent on Twitter, at least through the evening and morning, when he tends to send his most incendiary comments to fire up his core supporters and drive the news of the day.
Likewise, top Republicans stayed away from the morning shows.
Charlie Rose said on “CBS This Morning” that 20 Republicans had declined invitations Wednesday.
Some Democrats and commentators were beginning to talk impeachment. Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, warned them to take a deep breath.
Those Republicans who did appear on public on Wednesday kept their distance from Trump. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) responded incredulously to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to share information that Trump discussed with his diplomats.
“The idea that we would accept any evidence from President Putin is absurd,” she told CNN.
Trump’s only scheduled public comments will come during a commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. Because the president is traveling, his embattled press secretary, Sean Spicer, will hold an off-camera briefing with a handful of pool reporters on Air Force One rather than his customary televised briefing from the White House.