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House Republican dismisses Trump as 'a distraction'

"At first, it was 'Well yeah, this is the guy we elected. He'll learn, he'll learn,''" a House Republican said. "And you just don't see that happening."
US President Donald J. Trump after a group photo on the second day of the G7 Summit at the Hotel San Domenico in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, 27 May 2017.

Donald Trump was sworn in as the nation's president exactly six months ago today, and it's not exactly a secret that his tenure has been burdened by a series of failures, scandals, and mistakes. At this point, the nation's first amateur president hasn't been able to deliver on much of anything.

And the congressional Republican majority, poised to take its summer break, isn't pleased. Politico had a good piece today on widespread GOP discontent over the party's ongoing inability to govern, and the article included a striking quote.

"I don't even pay any attention to what is going on with the administration because I don't care. They're a distraction. The family is a distraction, the president is a distraction," complained Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho). "At first, it was 'Well yeah, this is the guy we elected. He'll learn, he'll learn.' And you just don't see that happening."

According to a Politico reporter, Simpson's quote went on to say, "Quite frankly, I'm starting to wonder if anyone in the family knows what the truth is."

It's worth noting that Simpson isn't a moderate, troubled by Trump's radicalism. On the contrary, the Idaho congressman is a conservative Republican from one of the nation's "reddest" states.

But that hasn't stopped him from growing exasperated with his party's president -- and saying so on the record.

If this is what we're hearing from members of Congress from the right, it's hard not to wonder what some of the more moderate GOP lawmakers are thinking right now about Trump World.

What we don't know, however, is when -- or if -- this dissatisfaction will start to affect the political process. According to FiveThirtyEight, Idaho's Mike Simpson, for example, has voted with Trump's position literally 100% of the time.

That's not necessarily a contradiction. Simpson may be inclined to reject Trump and his antics, while at the same time backing a conservative Republican legislative agenda that enjoys the support of Republican leaders, including those at the White House.

But Simpson's quote makes me wonder how many of his colleagues on Capitol Hill are thinking along the same lines, and how many of them are prepared to start breaking party ranks on some of the tough votes.