Sen. Mike Lee blames Congress for Trump’s sluggish start: ‘Look in the mirror’

Leigh Vogel/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) —  If former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week is anything like the memo leaked after his firing, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is going to have “a whole lot of other questions for him,” he said on ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.

A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lee said the content of Comey’s alleged memo — detailing a conversation with President Donald Trump in which Comey says the president urged him to end an investigation into the actions of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — seems to be “rather glaringly inconsistent with what he told the Senate Judiciary Committee a few weeks ago.”

In his testimony before the committee, Comey said “a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason — that would be a very big deal. It’s not happened in my experience.”

If Comey’s June 8 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee contradicts that statement, then Lee said it should be made known why Comey didn’t resign at the time.
“Why didn’t he point it out at the time? That’s a line of inquiry among others that would need to be brought up,” Lee said.

During the Republican National Convention in 2016, Lee was opposed to choosing Trump as the party’s nominee for president. But he told ABC News’ Rick Klein and Jonathan Karl on the podcast that he’s been pleased with the president’s performance so far.

“Those concerns turned out to be unfounded. I turned out to be wrong in that regard,” Lee said, adding that he still sees Trump’s stated dedication to returning power to the American people as a “central vision” of his presidency.

When asked whether turbulence in the White House gets in the way of Congress achieving its legislative agenda, Lee said Congress has itself to blame for any inaction.

“If you have Republican members of Congress claiming that it’s the president’s fault somehow that we’re not passing Obamacare repeal, that we’re not passing tax reform yet, I think they need to look in the mirror,” Lee said. “Because the fact is that, distractions aside, there’s no reason why any of those things prevent us from doing what we need to be doing.”

Lee is also author of the recently released book “Written out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government.” In the book, he details Aaron Burr’s resistance to Thomas Jefferson’s “massive campaign of impeaching public officials” whom he didn’t like.

“This is a reminder to us that even a revered, early president like Thomas Jefferson … needs to be viewed with a suspicious eye, because people can abuse power,” Lee said.

There has been some speculation that a Supreme Court justice could resign as early as this coming summer. Lee, a self-proclaimed “lifelong law geek,” said he would consider filling a vacancy should the president ask him to.

“It would be absurd for me to suggest I wouldn’t consider that. If the president of the United States asked me to consider it, I surely would,” Lee said. “That ultimately is going to be up to the president of the United States and not to me.”

But does he think it’s going to happen?

“I don’t know, but I do look really good in black,” Lee joked.

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