A Fix review has found that no fewer than 10 Senate Republicans who previously dodged questions about or defended Trump’s tweets have since criticized old tweets from Biden nominees. You can watch examples of these shifts in the video above.
Over the past two months, each of these 10 senators has questioned the fitness of two Biden nominees and defeated the nomination of a third based on their old tweets. And as my colleague Aaron Blake noted last month, most voted to confirm Richard Grenell as ambassador to Germany in 2018 despite his history of controversial tweets.
The White House withdrew Neera Tanden’s nomination to be director of the Office of Management and Budget this month following bipartisan criticism over her past tweets. Unlike Grenell, some of Tanden’s tweets were aimed at the very people who would have voted on her nomination.
Since then, Justice Department nominee Vanita Gupta and Defense Department nominee Colin Kahl have faced criticism from Republican senators for their tweets that were at times critical of Republicans.
Shortly after Trump threatened to commit war crimes against Iran in a January 2020 tweet, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) sidestepped a question about it.
“I don’t have any comment on what sites the president may be discussing,” Cotton said at the time. “It’s obviously a classified matter.”
But just 14 months later, Cotton found himself suddenly worried that tweets could harm U.S. foreign policy.
“I would just say that some of these tweets happened in the middle of the night when presumably you were sitting at home reading the news,” Cotton told Kahl. “The real tense moments are going to happen when you’re in the Pentagon and Iran hijacks another American ship, or China shoots down an aircraft. And if this is the way you respond to mere policy disagreements when you’re sitting at home reading the news, I do not think that you’re fit to sit in the Pentagon and make decisions about life and death.”