Amash trolls Trump Jr. after primary tease
Washington — U.S. Rep. Justin Amash on Thursday trolled Donald Trump Jr. after the president's son suggested he'd be traveling to Michigan to campaign against the Republican congressman in a primary fight.
The primary threat comes after Amash became the sole Republican in Congress to back impeachment proceedings for Trump based on the obstruction of justice findings detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller's report.
At least two challengers have filed to run against Amash, and President Donald Trump has reportedly mulled whether to back one of them in an effort to boot the fifth-term lawmaker from office.
Trump Jr. on Thursday retweeted polling suggesting Amash could be vulnerable in a match-up against state Rep. Jim Lower, R-Greenville.
"See you soon Justin... I hear Michigan is beautiful during primary season," Trump Jr. wrote.
Amash responded by seeming to welcome Trump Jr. to Michigan: "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer."
But Amash was quoting Trump Jr.'s own words from the infamous 2016 email that Trump Jr. sent during the presidential campaign in response to an offer to provide his father's campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The email led to the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower involving Trump Jr., his brother-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, where they expected to receive damaging information on Clinton from a Russian attorney.
The episode is detailed in the Mueller report, which says the communications about the meeting and its attendance by high-level campaign officials "support an inference that the campaign anticipated receiving derogatory documents and information from official Russian sources that could assist candidate Trump's electoral prospects."
Mueller considered whether the Trump Tower meeting triggered the ban on campaign contributions from foreign nationals, and his report indicated that Mueller weighed filing criminal charges in relation to the meeting.
But he did not charge members of the Trump team who participated, in part because the probe did not find evidence that they acted with “general knowledge of the illegality of their conduct.”
President Trump said in a recent ABC interview that aired Wednesday that he would listen to information about an election opponent from a foreign government in the 2020 election and might report it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Amash, who represents the Grand Rapids area, told The Detroit News on Wednesday that he's planning to run for his House seat again in 2020 and is "absolutely" confident in his district reelecting him.
"I think anyone who spends time in my district can understand why I'm confident. All the other stuff like, polls here and there, I don't think they're really that relevant," Amash said.
"At the end of the day, people go to vote, and I think they vote on character. I don't think there's any comparison, so I'm not worried about it."
Amash also has not ruled out running for the White House on the Libertarian ticket.
He stepped down this week from the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which he helped to found in 2015.
Members of the group, who are among Trump's most vocal defenders in Congress, had disagreed with Amash's stance on impeachment and criticized him in recent weeks.
Amash hasn't co-sponsored or introduced any impeachment-related legislation in Congress.
"As long as the speaker isn't interested in moving forward, the resolutions don't amount to much," Amash said, referring to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has said she won't impeach Trump.
"So, I'd like to see her position change and then we could focus on that."
Staff Writer Jonathan Oosting contributed