Remember when Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) explained away her decision to acquit President Donald Trump of impeachment last year because, in her opinion, “the president has learned from this case?”
Well, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) gave us the sequel to that hopelessly naive notion on Sunday morning.
Amid a growing chorus of Republicans calling for the president to resign for inciting an insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol, Blunt appeared on CBS News’ Face the Nation and criticized Trump’s behavior. But at the same time, he stopped short of calling for the president to step down—insisting Trump has actually learned his lesson this time.
“Two Republican senators have now called for the president to resign. Should he?” CBS anchor Margaret Brennan asked the conservative lawmaker on Sunday.
“Well, it would be up to him. My view would be what the president should do is now finish the last 10 days of his presidency,” Blunt replied.
“So no?” Brennan followed up.
“No,” the Missouri senator confirmed.
Brennan went on to note that many high-profile Republicans have been extremely critical of the president and accused him of igniting the flame of the insurrectionist mob that stormed the Capitol in a violent effort to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College count.
“The Justice Department affidavits have individuals saying they came here because the president told them to,” Brennan added. “Is the president a danger to the country?”
“I think the president’s decisions and actions that day and leading up to that day on this topic were clearly reckless,” Blunt responded. “I said that very early in the evening on Wednesday, that this was a tragic day for the country. And the president had involvement in that.”
The Face the Nation host, meanwhile, wondered aloud if Republican leaders were going to hold Trump accountable in any way for his actions and behavior, prompting Blunt to essentially shrug and say it’s just time to move on.
“I think the country is the right way to hold presidents accountable,” he said. “The president should be very careful over the next 10 days that his behavior is what you would expect from the leader of the greatest country in the world.”
“My personal view is that the president touched the hot stove on Wednesday and is unlikely to touch it again,” the senator continued. “And if that’s the case, we get—every day we get closer to the last day of his presidency. We should be thinking more about the first day of the next presidency than the last day of his presidency.”
Even as some Republicans have said they would support impeaching the president, Blunt wouldn’t reveal whether he felt the president had committed an impeachable offense by inciting an insurrection.