U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) on Wednesday appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” call-in program to discuss the impeachment inquiry. He blamed a “cocky attitude” among some in the State Department and said they are upset over not being involved in President Donald Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The video interview is available to watch here, courtesy of C-SPAN.
Burchett said he is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which on Tuesday deposed Bill Taylor.
Taylor, the top American diplomat in Ukraine, told impeachment investigators that Trump offered a quid pro quo with Ukraine, Politico said. The president labeled Taylor a Never-Trumper.
Burchett, the former mayor of Knox County, told C-SPAN, “The thing that bothers me about this, and I’m not a lawyer, we don’t trust the American public with this stuff but we don’t allow members of Congress to basically leak it out. The process is not there. We are not allowed to bring in our own witnesses, and (Rep. Adam) Schiff, he is a master at it. He controls it, and he controls it in his favor. To me it’s a little disconcerting and I think that’s why they’re losing ground on this fight.”
The congressman said, “They have misjudged the American public and they are not buying what they are feeding them. It seems like every time somebody is up there and speaks in the group, they bring in a diplomat or a member of the State Department or whatever. To me they seem like they’re disgruntled. They weren’t in on the conversation and they say time and time again we warned them or something along those lines. They were mad because they weren’t brought into the conversation.”
He said there is a “real cocky attitude” in the State Department.
“There’s an arrogance there that kind of carries over on everything — and I’ve been around people like that. If you don’t do it their way … in county government, if you don’t do it their way, then they would leak it to the press or something that you were allegedly doing, which you weren’t, and then they try to wreck it. And I think that’s what they’re doing.” Burchett said.
The Tennessee representative was asked what was said after the opening statement but replied he is not supposed to — but while Republicans are following the rules, some Democrats are leaking. He said Democrats are being overly dramatic in releasing information and are spoon-feeding it to the public.
Burchett responded to several phone calls. One lady asked if he supported President Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria and accused the president of “throwing the Kurds to the wolves.”
The congressman said, “Tell me what Constitutional reason when an American fighting man or woman holds up his hand and says I agree to support the Constitution, what Constitutional reason do we have to be over there? We’ve lost over 6,200 fighting men and women. We’ve spent over $7 trillion on this so-called war on terror and what has it gotten us.”
People accuse Trump of being a “warmonger” but get mad for him bringing troops home, Burchett said. The alternative is to fight Turkey, a NATO ally. Burchett also blasted the United Nations for not doing anything.
“We cannot be the world’s peace keeper,” and he would support sanctioning Turkey.
Burchett then repeated that the American public “has had it” on the impeachment, and Democrats will suffer in the elections for “beating a dead horse.”
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