Tags: Trump Administration | Barack Obama | White House | congress | testify | transition

White House: Speak Out Against Trump Appointees

Image: White House: Speak Out Against Trump Appointees

Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. John Lewis testify against Sen. Jeff Sessions' during his confirmation hearing. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

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Wednesday, 11 Jan 2017 07:53 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Although President Obama and his press secretary refuse any comment on the Cabinet nominations of President-elect Trump, the White House nonetheless gave a green light Wednesday to members of Congress who choose to testify against Trump nominees.

The call from press secretary Josh Earnest for lawmakers to "make their voices heard" on the Trump team came in response to a question from Newsmax on Wednesday.

Keeping in mind how Earnest had refused comments on the nomination hearings of Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state, we asked what he felt about the ongoing testimony that same day against Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to be attorney general, from two close congressional friends of President Obama: Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

"I would in no way suggest that the standard I have set for the president or for me — who have an institutional responsibility to ensure a smooth and effective transition — somehow applies to members of the U.S. Congress," Earnest told me.

Earnest went on to say, "They should make their voices heard, and they should do so consistent with their own judgment. I think that is just what Congressman Lewis and Sen. Booker have done."

According to Earnest, this differs from the president's policy toward such nominations because "President Obama obviously has institutional responsibilities that require him to focus on a transition and not focus on critiquing or criticizing the people that President-elect Trump has appointed to these important positions, even if they are not at all the people President Obama would have appointed."

Asked if either Booker or Lewis had discussed their decision to testify against Sessions with Obama, Earnest replied: "I'm not aware they spoke to the President about it. But even if they did, I'm not sure that would have made any difference."

Historians told Newsmax that Booker's testimony against Sessions is the first case in history of one senator testifying against another who has been nominated to the president's Cabinet or to the Supreme Court.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
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Although the President and his top spokesman refuse any comment on the Cabinet nominations of President-elect Trump, the White House nonetheless gave a green light Wednesday to members of Congress who choose to testify against Trump nominees in testimony before Senate committees.
White House, congress, testify, transition
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2017-53-11
Wednesday, 11 Jan 2017 07:53 PM
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