Trump's Senate Sycophants Show Up At Trial To Kiss His Ring

Tommy Tuberville

Sen. Tommy Tuberville

Donald Trump’s courtroom entourage has expanded in recent days, with a troupe of thirsty elected Republicans jockeying for position to win his favor. But to what end, when even Trump’s own family—except for son Eric—hasn’t bothered to show at the New York hush money trial?

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida skipped a vote last Thursday to stand by his man. On Monday, a trio of elected Republicans showed up in the Manhattan courtroom. Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York were eager to play to the cameras, but didn’t get much of a chance to bask in the limelight.

“After traveling with him in his motorcade, court officers were ordered to prohibit us from standing with President Trump as he addressed media” and they also “prohibited us from speaking to media,” Malliotakis complained. That’s all because “They WANT to silence the truth, protect their narrative and create the false perception that he has no support. Far from it!” she claimed.

Scott insisted Thursday that he was there because “I have known Donald Trump a long time … I knew him before I was governor. I consider him a friend. And what he is going through is just despicable.”

What could Scott get out of this? Maybe he thinks Trump will return the favor by supporting his reelection campaign. Scott has also been angling for the GOP leadership spot in the Senate since 2022, and might be considering what Trump could do for him there. Or perhaps he’s vying for a Cabinet slot, like secretary of Health and Human Services? He’s certainly shown he knows his way around Medicare—or at least how to defraud Medicare to the tune of $1.7 billion. He even tried to spin that investigation to his favor Thursday, saying Trump was the victim of “political persecution,” just like him.

“By the way, I saw this. It happened to me,” Scott said on Fox News. “I fought Hillarycare, and guess what happened when I fought Hillarycare? Justice came after me and attacked me and my company.”

He could be auditioning for the role of Trump’s vice president, but he’d have a problem there. Scott would have to leave Florida to do it, since the presidential and vice presidential candidates can’t call the same state home. That didn’t stop Dick Cheney back in 2000. He just declared he was a resident of Wyoming, and the courts bought it.

Vance is the likelier veep contender. He’s been circling Trump for weeks, reportedly texting or talking daily with Don Jr. and saying all the things Trump wants to hear, including that “the main goal of this trial is psychological torture” of Trump.

“I think that when you look at all of these attacks on Donald Trump, you have to be honest with yourself and say, this is not about law and this is not about justice,” Vance said on CNN Sunday.

In that interview, Vance also blew off the fact that Trump hangs around with well-known antisemites and white nationalists like Nick Fuentes and said that he would only accept the results of the 2024 election if they are “free and fair.” That’s all music to Trump’s ears, and Vance is clearly working overtime for that coveted top-of-the-ticket favor.

Tuberville’s Monday appearance in the courtroom is probably just a ploy for media attention. It’s possible he imagines he could be Trump’s No. 2. Or maybe he’s eyeing a Cabinet position—like secretary of Defense. Tuberville probably thinks he’s an expert and proved his bona fides through his months-long blockade of military promotions.

It’s hard to believe that the biggest Trump toady of them all—South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham—hasn’t shown up yet. And other veep contenders are really letting Vance get the jump on them. Where has South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott been? Don’t forget Marco Rubio, who also has a Florida man problem, but that’s fixable.

What about North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who Trump likes because he’s “very rich”? Or Trump’s “killer” friend, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York? They’re missing a big opportunity here.

Navigator collects, analyzes, and distributes real data on progressive messaging. The Hub Project's Bryan Bennett and Gabriela Parra talk with Kerry about what they are seeing in their research this election cycle, and which messaging can help progressive candidates win elections in 2024—and beyond.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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