President Donald Trump celebrated the end of his impeachment trial this week, with all but one Republican senator voting to acquit him. It represented the culmination of a months-long process in which House Democrats attempted to remove the forty-fifth president from office.
Yet rather than weaken Trump, Fox News host Chris Wallace believes that the ordeal has made the president stronger than ever. The admission was surprising to Fox viewers, who are familiar with Wallace’s typically less-than-supportive takes on Trump.
Trump “better off now than he was”
“As far as the political impact, I think you’d have to say that Donald Trump is better off now than he was when the impeachment process began,” Wallace said on an episode of “Fox News Sunday.”
“He’s had a number of bipartisan successes on trade deals, the economy is rolling along. The Gallup poll just came out,” the Fox News host continued.
“It’s the highest he’s had in this presidency, 49 percent,” he added, lamenting that the country remains 50-50, “bitterly divided.”
Wallace was referring to a poll released on Tuesday that showed Trump had a 49 percent approval rating. He did best among Republicans and independents, of whom 94 and 42 percent, respectively, had a favorable view of him.
While Wallace said that “everybody acted gracefully and graciously” during the impeachment vote, he expected that the 2020 election would be far less calm.
“This is gonna be a tough, bitterly fought campaign,” the veteran newsman predicted.
Romney expects “consequence”
Wallace discussed impeachment on Wednesday with Utah’s Republican Sen. Mitt Romney. Romney stood out as the lone Republican who voted to convict the president of abuse of power.
“I believe that the act he took, an effort to corrupt an election is as destructive an attack on the oath of office and our Constitution as I can imagine,” Romney told Wallace.
“It is a high crime and misdemeanor within the meaning of the Constitution, and that is not a decision I take lightly. It is the last decision I want to take.” Romney suggested that he would face personal consequences for his decision.
“I have spoken a good deal with my family because this will have consequence — the blowback will have consequence, not just for me, but for my family, for my wife, for my sons, for my daughters-in-law, for my 24 grandkids,” he said.