US President Donald Trump welcomed the possible transfer of a democratic MP to the Republicans on Twitter. US media had previously reported, citing sources not mentioned by name, that New Jersey MP Jeff Van Drew was planning to switch sides in the coming days.
"Thank you for your honesty, Jeff. All Democratic knowledge that you're right, but unlike you, they don't have the" guts "to say that!" Trump tweeted on Sunday night. "I always heard that Jeff is very smart!" Continued the president.
Thank you for your honesty Jeff. All of the Democrats know you are right, but unlike you, they don't have the “guts” to say so! https://t.co/OUc46HUwPq- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2019
The timing of van Drew's possible change is particularly politically sensitive: a decisive vote in the US House of Representatives is expected next week to open impeachment proceedings against Trump. Van Drew had previously spoken out against and voted against impeaching the president.
Motive: political self-preservation?
Van Drew sits in the House of Representatives and has represented a former republican district where Trump is popular since 2018. According to US media, democratic critics accuse Van Drew that a change of party is primarily for political self-preservation.
Trump encouraged Van Drew to switch to Republicans at a Friday meeting, the reports said. Neither Van Drew nor his chief of staff and communications commented on the reports. Corresponding rumors have been around for a long time. Trump has repeatedly dismissed the Democrats' efforts to drive him out of office as a party policy.
A majority is foreseeable in the vote in the House of Representatives scheduled for next week; the Democrats dominate the chamber. The actual process is expected to take place in the Senate in January - Trumps Republicans have the majority there.