Arkansas’s Republican congressional delegation remains muted on the cavalcade of chaos emanating from the White House.

Official silence yesterday, as best as I can tell, from U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton and U.S. Reps. French Hill, Bruce Westerman and Rick Crawford. Sen. John Boozman and Reps. Steve Womack said they had confidence in Robert Mueller, appointed special counsel for what seems to be a wide range of issues to pursue. Not much to be said from them on Trump hiring a Turkish lobbyist, Mike Flynn; suggesting a pass on investigation of Flynn to then-FBI Director James Comey; or passing critical intelligence information to Russians.


It would have been easy for them to speak, because the Republican talking point machine is busy churning out scripts. Here’s a summary from Talking Points Memo, boiled down:

* Trump was joking.


* Enemies are conspiring against Trump.

* James Comey has an agenda.


* None of it amounts to much.

* The real crimes are leaks to media.

TPM left out the most important talking point of all:

* Hillary was worse. “Lock her up!”


Not to mention: “At least he didn’t lie under oath about a blow job.”

There’s a mountain of reporting and analysis to read. None of it will sway the Trump partisans. But I found one piece of commentary worthwhile. It’s on the funny story that Republican leaders denied having said they believed Trump was on the Russian payroll until confronted with a tape recording of them saying just that. The fallback explanation: It was just joshing. But why would this come up as a subject for humor without some basis? From the Washington Post.

UPDATE: Trump takes to the Twitter machine this morning:

At least he didn’t repeat his wholly inappropriate whine to Coast Guard Academy graduates — soon to be putting themselves in harm’s way for the nation — that “No politician in history – and I say this with great surety – has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

Honest Abe, JFK, Franz Ferdinand and William McKinley were just a few of the politicians mentioned in hooting derision to poor lil‘ Donald’s remark. My favorite was the reference of those tossed out of a window in Prague into a dung heap.

UPDATE: French Hill said something.