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GOP growing more indifferent with Trump controversies as election nears

September 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining liability issues during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on May 12, 2020. (Photo by CARLOS BARRIA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CARLOS BARRIA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Public health experts reacted with alarm after President Donald Trump held an indoor rally with thousands of maskless supporters at a packed arena in Nevada amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

"No, it doesn't," said Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, when asked if the rally troubled him at all.

"I'm fine with the fact that they check up on whether their vote counted," said Sen. Richard Burr, the state's senior Republican senator.

"Not right now," said Sen. Joni Ernst, a vulnerable Iowa Republican who refused to comment three times over the past week when asked about Trump's comments to Woodward.

For much of Trump's presidency, Republicans have rarely pushed back at Trump's self-inflicted controversies and scandals, knowing that doing so would prompt a Twitter attack from the President and a revolt from his vocal supporters -- something that GOP lawmakers, particularly in difficult reelection races, can ill-afford.

Daines, who is facing his own tough reelection battle this year in his Republican-leaning state, went on to praise Trump's response to the crisis, and said: "That kind of leadership saved a lot of American lives. "

Some Republicans have raised concerns over Trump's remarks after being asked by reporters.

And he had an obligation as President to be straightforward with them and to tell all that he has known," Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican in a tough race, said at a debate last week, after declining to answer questions in the Capitol last week about Trump's remarks to Woodward.

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