“Trump train derails on Capitol Hill,” headlines Politico.
In the first major test of relations with Capitol Hill Republicans since Trump became the party’s nominee, his attacks on federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel are sapping any goodwill he’d accumulated in private meetings and phone calls with congressional Republicans, Politico says.
But now that House Speaker Paul Ryan and much of the party have endorsed Trump, Republicans are left with little room to maneuver other than to decry his comments and hope people move on.
That’s not likely to happen anytime soon, with media attention rising and Trump refusing to back away from his attacks, Politico and other media say.
And then there are the Democrats.
In an “unusually coordinated" series of attacks from congressional offices and the Senate floor, in state capitols and sidewalk protests, Democrats excoriated Trump on Monday as racist and demanded that Republicans either stand behind his comments or condemn him and even rescind their endorsements of his candidacy, says The New York Times.
The Democrats got “unexpected ammunition” from Trump himself, who, in an “extraordinary” conference call with allies on Monday, urged them to defend his criticisms of Curiel’s Mexican heritage — and then rebuked his campaign staff for having suggested otherwise, says the Times.
“No other modern presidential campaign has unfolded like this, and gleeful Democrats have concluded that one of their best strategies for the general election is to hold Republicans accountable for each new Trump bombshell,” the Times says.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., moved to link Trump to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — and to every Republican running this fall. Reid pointed out that McConnell, interviewed on NBC on Sunday, had “repeatedly refused to say Donald Trump’s attacks on Judge Curiel’s ethnicity are racist.”
“This is precisely the type of failure that gave rise to Donald Trump in the first place,” Reid said. “That’s because the hate emanating from Trump’s mouth reflects the Republican Party’s agenda here in the United States Senate for the past seven and a half years.”