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GOP senator: Impeachment should encourage Trump to be more 'careful' next time

"I think he'll put two and two together," Braun told NBC's "Meet the Press." "In this case, he was taken to the carpet."
Image: Sen. Mike Braun, R-IN, speaks to reporters during an impeachment trial recess on Jan. 23, 2020.
Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., speaks to reporters during an impeachment trial recess on Jan. 23, 2020.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said Sunday that he hopes President Donald Trump's impeachment "will be instructive" to the president so that he is more "careful" about his actions going forward.

"Hopefully it will be instructive to where ... I think he'll put two and two together," Braun told NBC's "Meet the Press." "In this case, he was taken to the carpet."

"I think he’ll be instructed by what has occurred here and certainly any individual would want to avoid whatever might need to be modified to go through this again because the threat is already been out there that 'we might find something else to impeach you on,'" Braun added, pointing to Democrats. "Which I think is a mistake because I think we need to get back to what most Americans are interested in, the agenda."

Braun said the process "ought to be instructive to anyone here that if you're pushing the envelope or doing things that may not feel right, let alone be right, you better be careful."

"Because we're in that kind of atmosphere now," he said.

Last month, Braun told NBC News he would not describe Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as "perfect." But Braun says he does not believe Trump leveraged foreign aid for the investigations.

Braun's comments came as the president took shots at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Sunday morning over his handling of impeachment. Trump said Schiff has "not paid the price, yet" for his role in Trump's impeachment. Schiff, the lead House impeachment manager, told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he thought Trump's tweet was "intended to be" a threat to him. Trump responded later Sunday by calling Schiff a "conman."

Other Republicans on Sunday defended Trump's conduct toward Ukraine. Speaking with CNN's "State of the Union," Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said he was not concerned by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tying the suspension of military aid to Ukraine to them investigating alleged Ukrainian interference in 2016

"I don't think that's a significant issue," Lankford said, explaining that investigating allegations about 2016 did not amount to seeking help in the upcoming election. The senator said, however, that he did not believe the "CrowdStrike" conspiracy, which Trump raised in his July phone call with Zelenskiy, to be true.

House impeachment managers delivered their case against Trump over three days last week. In their arguments, they accused Trump of soliciting foreign help to "cheat" in the upcoming election and said he violated his oath of office by pressuring Ukraine to announce investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden while withholding crucial military aid to the country.

Trump's legal team, which began its defense on Saturday, said it was actually the Democrats who were trying to interfere in the election through impeachment and said Trump did nothing wrong with regards to Ukraine, pointing to Zelenskiy and top Ukrainian officials saying they felt no pressure.

Democrats, meanwhile, contended that Zelenskiy and top aides had no choice but to say that, lest they risk losing U.S. support going forward.