Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said Monday he does not know the specifics of former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley's conversations with former White House chief of staff John Kelly and ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but he does know there were people in the White House who were doing "their best" to protect the nation's security.
"They wanted the best information from our intelligence community, from our Department of Defense and the Department of State for the president to at least listen to and consider before making decisions," Cardin told CNN. "I think they were acting in the best interests of our national security, and it's something we should applaud, their independence at trying to get that information to the president."
However, Trump has "presented challenges" to the people who want to serve the United States, Cardin said.
"You have people who might agree with what the president is trying to achieve but disagree with the methods he's using and want to make sure he gets the best advice," Cardin said. "The president does not take that lightly, and it's difficult to get his ear on important information."
The president also makes decisions through Twitter rather than in a "deliberative manner," and that makes it "frustrating," said Cardin, as there he is a "president that doesn't really have a process to let you know the type of input you should have."
Meanwhile, as Trump's impeachment hearings go public this week, there have been several testimonies linking aid being released to Ukraine contingent on its leadership starting an investigation on former Vice President Joe Biden, Cardin said.
He also said GOP calls for Biden's son, Hunter, to testify about his actions in connection with Ukraine's energy interests are a "distraction" created to try to change the subject matter.
"President Trump is pretty famous for doing that, and here you find Republicans that are now talking the same language," Cardin said. "This has been thoroughly vetted. There is nothing that is here that would affect the inquiry that the House is looking at right at this moment, so that's clearly an effort to get some sensational type testimony to try to distract from the main allegations."
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