As both the war in Ukraine and the investigation into Hunter Biden, former President Trump is pressing Vladimir Putin to release any “dirt” he has on Joe Biden!
In an interview earlier this week, Trump said Russian leader Vladimir Putin should “release” information on an alleged business deal involving Hunter Biden, President Biden’s embattled son. In the interview, the ex-president discussed an alleged $3.5 million wire transfer from Russian billionaire Elena Baturina to Hunter Biden’s investment firm that was outlined in a report by Senate Republicans made public ahead of the 2020 election.
“So now I would think Putin would know the answer to that,” Trump said on “Just the News,” airing on Real America’s Voice network. “I think he should release it. I think we should know that answer.”
Hunter Biden is facing a federal tax probe, with a grand jury convened in Delaware.
But while many of us would like to see such evidence of the Biden’s dirty foreign dealings – should it exist – for now, are Trump’s comments a help or a hindrance for the GOP?
Many Republicans are finding themselves playing defense and, given current world tensions, feeling the need to distance themselves from Trump’s urgings.
Trump’s comments came at a bit of a politically awkward moment for GOP lawmakers who are currently trying to push the Biden administration to do more in response to Putin’s weeks-long, bloody invasion of Ukraine.
“My message to Putin is he needs to go,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has remained close to Trump since he left office last year when asked about the former president’s comments.
Asked if he thought making the remark was appropriate, Graham added, “That would not be something that I would do, no.”
Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said, “We have very little control over what the former president says, obviously.”
“You know, there are a lot of voices out there right now, and you have to stay focused on the goal, and that is to give the Ukrainians whatever they need to succeed and be victorious. And I think that’s actually a possibility,” Thune added when he was asked if Trump’s latest assault on the Biden family stepped on Senate Republicans’ message on Russia.
Midterm Problems for Biden and the Dems
Meanwhile, Democratic strategists are warning of a connection between former presidents Trump and Obama as the midterms near. Both Trump and Obama suffered from negative poll numbers on the eve of their first midterm elections in office, and both saw their party lose control of the House of Representatives.
In November 2010, Obama’s approval rating was underwater by 4 points as the Republicans rode a powerful Tea Party fueled red wave to flip the House with a massive 63-seat net gain, the largest shift of seats in more than 60 years.
Fast-forward eight years and Trump’s approval rating was underwater by nearly 10 points on the eve of the 2018 midterms when the Democrats stormed back to reclaim the House majority thanks to a 41-seat pickup.
Fast-forward again four years to the present day, and Biden finds himself in similar negative territory. The president stands at 45% approval and 54% disapproval in the latest Fox News national poll, and an average of all of the most recent surveys gauging Biden’s standing that was compiled by Real Clear Politics puts him at 41%-53%.
Midterm elections are often a referendum on the president and his record in office, and the presidential approval rating has long been a key barometer ahead of midterm contests.
Regardless of how former President Trump’s bombastic rhetoric helps or hinders the GOP in the midterms, Biden’s abysmal approval ratings spell serious trouble for Democrats, who are trying to defend their razor-thin majorities in the House and Senate come November’s elections.