Speed Reads

not a good situation

'Distressed' Republicans react to White House chaos: 'The wheels may be coming off'

Thursday was a chaotic day in the Trump administration, and it left Republicans everywhere in a daze.

It all started with Trump saying he would not sign a funding bill passed by the Senate because it does not include the $5 billion he has requested for border wall funding, all but guaranteeing a government shutdown. This stunned Republican lawmakers, CNN reports. When she heard about what Trump said, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) remarked, "Ugh, are you ruining my life?" Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) observed, "This is not a good situation." Politico reports the chaos literally made Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) laugh out loud, saying, "You can't make this stuff up!"

The day went from bad to worse, with Defense Secretary James Mattis resigning in protest of Trump's foreign policy impulses. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in response that he was "distressed." Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that with Mattis gone, "we are headed towards a series of grave policy errors which will endanger our nation, damage our alliances, and empower our adversaries." Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) tweeted, "This chaos, both foreign and domestic, is putting America in danger and must stop immediately."

There was also a report Thursday that the administration plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, which Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), normally a Trump ally, said could be "paving the way toward a second 9/11."

Off the record, the Republican reactions have been even less measured. A senior GOP congressman told CNN, "The wheels may be coming off." A former administration official told The Washington Post, "There's going to be an intervention." And The New York Times' Maggie Haberman reported that some conservatives who have worked for Trump or supported him are saying they "regret" doing so and that the administration is "off the rails," per Mediaite. She added that, considering Republican support would be required to impeach Trump, this "could be a critical moment."