Republican Senator James Lankford admitted on Sunday that he doesn’t believe President Donald Trump “as a person is a role model for a lot of youth” and how he comes across is “definitely” not the way he intends to raise his children.
During an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation with Democratic Senator Chris Coons, host Margaret Brennan asked Lankford to comment on GOP criticisms of Trump’s morality amid the ongoing impeachment proceedings.
“During the Clinton impeachment, we often heard from Republicans the criticism and the call for an American president to be a moral leader, and we heard about moral failings,” she said. “These days you will quietly hear criticism of the president from Republicans, but you don’t hear that loud criticism in the way we did 20 years ago.”
“What has changed?” Brennan asked.
“I’m not sure if anything has changed,” the Oklahoma senator responded. “There’s still this ongoing conversation about policy and about responsible leadership and about role models.”
“I don’t think that President Trump as a person is a role model for a lot of youth. That’s me personally. I don’t like the way that he tweets, some of the things that he says,” he continued. “His word choices at times are not my word choices. He comes across with more New York City swagger than I do from the Midwest. That’s definitely not the way that I’m raising my kids.”
Lankford goes on to say that despite their differences, there are “policy areas” they both agree on, including Trump’s staunch pro-life stance and honoring religious faith.
“It’s also been a grand challenge to say, for a person of faith, for a person who believes there’s a right way to go on things, I wish that he was more of a role model in those areas,” he said. “I look at some of the moral decisions that he’s made and go, ‘I disagree with that.’ But he’s also been very protective of areas of life, areas of religious liberty, allowing someone to be able to live their faith out.”
The House of Representatives earlier this month voted to approve two impeachment articles—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress—against Trump. At the heart of the impeachment proceedings is a July phone call between the U.S. president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked his foreign counterpart to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden.
A whistleblower concerned with their conversation and the holding of $391 million in congressionally-approved aid to Ukraine lodged a formal complaint, which initially sparked the impeachment inquiry. Since then, Trump has repeatedly attacked the whistleblower on social media. Minutes before midnight on Friday, the president reportedly retweeted a post that identified the alleged name of the whistleblower. The retweet reportedly disappeared by Saturday morning on most users’ feeds, although it remained visible to some users; Twitter later attributed that to a technical glitch.
Newsweek has not verified the identity of the whistleblower.