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Republican leaders in the Senate have reportedly asked the White House to withdraw the nomination of Andy Puzder, President Trump's pick for labor secretary, CNN's Manu Raju reported being told by a top GOP official Wednesday. On Monday, four Republican senators — Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), Tim Scott (S.C.), and Johnny Isakson (Ga.) — announced that they are "withholding support" for Puzder's nomination. Raju reported Wednesday that the number of Republicans prepared to vote "no" could now be as high as 12, dooming Puzder.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was reportedly hell-bent on avoiding what CNN called "the unwelcome task of advising the White House to pull the nomination instead of facing an embarrassing Senate floor defeat," but Raju said it appears the Republicans simply do not have the numbers. Puzder's Senate confirmation hearing is slated for Thursday.
Puzder's ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, alleged in disguise on Oprah in 1990 that Puzder abused her and threatened to "see you in the gutter," a tape of which was published by Politico on Wednesday. Fierstein has said she regrets appearing on the show, but in addition to the spousal abuse accusations, Puzder faces trouble due to pushback from labor rights activists and his admission that he and his wife once employed an undocumented immigrant as a part-time housekeeper.