Controversy erupted over the weekend when reports alleged that President Donald Trump’s White House had blocked a request from House Democrats to hear testimony from Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top adviser on the president’s coronavirus task force. But according to one top Republican, Trump is right to keep Fauci far away from the Democrat-led lower chamber.
In an interview with Fox News’ Harris Faulkner on Tuesday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) warned against letting Fauci be “skewered by the likes of Adam Schiff” over the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington Examiner reported.
“The House is a setup”
Fauci, for his part, is scheduled to testify before a Senate committee hearing on May 12, according to NPR. Others in the Trump administration, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn, are also scheduled to speak, NPR noted.
But Trump remains staunchly against allowing White House officials to testify before the Democrat-controlled House. “The House is a setup,” the president told reporters Tuesday, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “The House is a bunch of Trump haters. They put every Trump hater on the committee… They should be ashamed of themselves.”
In a memo to Congress, the White House explained that testimony before Congress from officials tasked with tackling the outbreak will be limited “in order to preserve department-wide resources,” NPR reported. And according to former Gov. Huckabee, this was the right move.
Responding to what host Faulker described as Trump’s “very strong words” during Tuesday’s episode of Outnumbered Overtime, Huckabee said, “Well, it’s some pretty strong nonsense that the opposing party has thrown at the president, from the phony impeachment nonsense to the fact that every day they blame him for something else regarding the coronavirus.”
Skewered by Schiff
“The reason that Dr. Fauci shouldn’t go and testify to Congress is because the conversations and discussions that he has had with the president are in the executive branch, where they should remain,” the former governor added, according to the Washington Examiner. He went on:
If you take conversations, candid conversations that a president can have with the people surrounding him, and you start having politically-charged, hateful people like exist in the Democrat House just trying to expose it and cause trouble in the midst of a pandemic, presidents will never surround themselves with people like Dr. Fauci again. That’s the danger that we would face, not that we won’t know what Dr. Fauci thinks.
Huckabee went on to argue that Fauci “is not a guy who’s a shrinking violet.”
“He goes and says what he thinks right in the presence of the president,” the former governor said. “But the president is not going to truck these people off to Congress so they can get skewered by the likes of Adam Schiff.”
Indeed, Fauci will likely get a taste of that grilling from Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Democrats on Tuesday. But as long as the biased and nonsensical questions continue, congressional Dems can expect continued pushback from the White House. After all, lives are stake here.
Take a look at Huckabee’s full interview with Fox, as shared by the Washington Examiner: