Top Senate Republicans tried to avoid questions about the legal woes ensnaring the Trump administration as they worked to keep the focus of a Monday news conference on the GOP agenda, specifically the confirmation of a batch of judicial nominees this week.
In one notable moment, Sen. Chuck Grassley literally squirmed out of the room just as reporters began asking questions about the legal problems.
“Anybody have any questions for Senator Grassley, or anybody else here, on this topic?” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked reporters, making clear he didn’t want questions about the indictments and guilty plea involving three of President Donald Trump’s campaign aides to dominate the news conference.
When reporters pressed to get on-camera comment about the legal problems facing Trump campaign aides Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, the usually accommodating Cornyn tried to deflect, saying the issue wasn’t in the Senate’s “wheelhouse.”
As multiple reporters shouted out, Grassley, who chairs the judiciary committee, which is investigating alleged Russian meddling in US elections, decided to slip out.