Murphy: Trump’s A Bully, Mocks To Silence You

After Elizabeth Warren was gaveled down for speaking against a Senate colleague who is President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy took to the lectern. Video above with excerpts from his speech below:

This is my first time on the floor since Senator Warren was gaveled down last evening–let me just speak for a moment about my deep, deep disappointment at the events of early last evening. I want to put this in the context of the political moment that we are living in. We have a President of the United States today who is a bully, who is using his office to try to stifle and quell debate. If you dare oppose him, frankly, whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, you are going to be called names, you are going to be mocked in an effort to try to silence you.

And in the last week we have seen President Trump attempt this tactic on members of the judiciary. When he got a ruling he didn’t like from a Judge in Washington that temporarily halted his ban on Muslims entering the country, he started personally attacking this judge, sending a signal to those in the judicial branch that if you dare oppose him, you are going to be singled out for ridicule.

The President of the United States is going to try to destroy your reputation and your career as a judge, as a jurist, as an impartial arbiter of the law if you rule against his political interests. It’s an exceptional moment. It’s an exceptional moment in which the President of the United States is trying to bully judges into ruling in his favor. It’s an exceptional moment, though we’ve been watching it for the last two years, in which the President is trying to bully Members of Congress to kowtow to his interests.

And so I want to be very careful about how I talk about this because I have great respect for the parliamentary rulings of this body, but I don’t understand why our Majority Leader chose to gavel down Senator Warren when she was simply reading a letter from Coretta Scott King. We celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King with a holiday every year in this country. In the individual greatness in the United States of America, it doesn’t get any higher than Martin Luther King, and his widow wrote us a letter expressing her objections to the nomination of Jeff Sessions based upon the belief that he would not live up to the legacy of her husband and his work in civil rights.

Nothing could be more relevant to this discussion. The opinion of a member of Martin Luther King’s family on whether or not this nominee was going to enforce appropriately and vigorously the civil rights laws of this nation, and Senator Warren was silenced.

Now, I don’t know what the motive was and it certainly would be inappropriate for me to guess at it. But the effect of the Majority Leader’s action is to stifle debate, to make it less likely that members of the Democratic minority will raise objections to Senator Sessions’ nomination and record objections as to his conduct.

I’m not trying to equate what happened here last night with what our President has done, but there is a practice now–there is a pattern of behavior amongst Republicans trying to stifle and quell opposition to this President using–the President uses the bullying power of Twitter and the majority now is twisting the rules of the U.S. Senate. I say that because while it may be true that technically the rules of the Senate don’t allow you to talk about the conduct of a fellow Senator, how on earth can you debate a nominee from this body to the Cabinet without questioning their conduct?

And so technically the rule may say that you cannot talk about the conduct of a fellow Senator, but how on earth can this body operate when members of it are nominated to important positions if we cannot talk about the conduct of fellow members and we cannot criticize the conduct of fellow members?

Now, I appreciate the fact that Senator Merkley was able to come down to the floor and read the full letter into the record overnight. I appreciate the fact that Senator Booker was able to read into the record testimony from another civil rights hero, John Lewis, without being similarly gaveled down for their conduct. But this effort–this continued effort to try to stop people who oppose President Trump and his agenda from speaking truth to power, it’s not right. It’s not right and it will, frankly, have the opposite effect. You’ve seen what happened overnight on our side. We are not going to stop talking about Senator Sessions’ record and how we believe that it is disqualifying as to his nomination for Attorney General.

And the protests and the numbers of people gathering around the country to object to the policies of President Trump are getting bigger and bigger the more that he bullies and bullies. This isn’t going to work. And so, Mr. President, I’m going to speak to Senator Sessions’ record.



  1. Ron this is my reply to your post on “Sanctuary City Supporters Fill City Council Chambers, Can Trump Deny Funds?” thread. But I though it will be put into context here.

    Ron, you missed my point, you’re wrong. I don’t believe Latinos will automatically vote Democrat like blacks. You talked about Maria and her vile comments toward blacks yet Hillary said some pretty vile things about blacks. Not to mention Clinton’s 1994 crime bill hit hard in the black communities, creating black mass incarceration and sentencing disparities among whites and blacks.



    And what was touted as racist, Gingrich’s welfare reform bill. If blacks are going to vote 98% of the time for Democrats they have to ask for results. Just like you are saying Joe Gamin did, use the black vote to get elected and then forget about them, hence Trump’s What do you have to lose.


    This is why I say party lines are blurred to foster racism. Mitch McConnell, I never liked him. By stopping Warren he he allows Democrats to perpetuate racism to keep the Democrat black vote at 98%. I think CT needs a Republican Senator and Murphy needs to be replaced. The Republicans need to put forward a real contender because this is sad. Bam I’m out.

    1. Robert, try reading what I wrote. I said the Republicans, that’s their mindset, not Ron Mackey’s.

      Ron Mackey // Feb 7, 2017 at 11:32 pm
      You have totally missed the point, those immigrants would not become Republicans and that’s the fear the Republicans have with comprehensive immigration. This has nothing to do with blacks.

  2. Couple of points.
    I subscribe to the Merriam Webster ‘Word of the Day.’
    They commented on the fact that Senator McConnell used the word ‘impugn,’ “to oppose or attack as false or lacking integrity or to criticize a person’s character, intentions, etc. …”
    They pointed out Senate Rule XIX actually uses the word ‘impute,’ which means to say or suggest that some someone is guilty of (something). Splitting hairs, but that is the business they are in.

    I agree with Senator Murphy’s label of ‘bully’ for President Trump. Lyndon Johnson was a bully as well, except he is remembered for his skill in moving legislation through Congress. Trump will need to rely on the skill of others. Given that Murphy and his Democrat Party colleagues have vowed to obstruct Trump’s agenda, there will likely be heavy-handed movement of legislation.

    Thank you, Senator Murphy. Now take your seat.

  3. I’m saying you’re wrong.

    It]s in your mindset that it’s in the Republicans mindset they fear comprehensive immigration reform because they will lose the immigrants’ (Latino) vote, if and when they gain the right to vote.

    Latinos don’t vote Democrat like blacks. I’m not saying it is about blacks but the Democrat and Republican parties. Do you not see the setup here? Mitch a Republican gave fuel to the Democrats to express Republicans don’t support blacks when he stopped Warren from speaking and reading Coretta King’s letter, and white racists, this is your party.

    When all he had to do was let her speak. What was gained and by whom, when he stopped Warren from speaking?

    Just like the protest for sanctuary city is not about immigrants, it’s about the Mayor being put in a position to be either against Trump or against immigrants. Look at all the slack he got for going to Trump’s inaugural.

    Overall Latino note cannot be fostered by the Democrats based on the history of slavery in America by stunts like this. They have no effect on Latinos’ mindsets. If the party wanting their vote has to produce for them.

    Here is why I think Republicans didn’t want to pass immigration reform under Obama in my opinion. They want it passed by a Republican president to capture the Latino support. I hope Trump and Paul Ryan will get it done, among other things that need to get fixed. If he builds strong borders then it will get done. Bush’s plan provided a pathway for citizenship. They can work from that plan. He got 40% of the Latino vote, unlike blacks, if a Republican says they will help the Latino communities they will vote for a Republican. Can you ever forsee blacks voting 40% for any Republican president?

    Ron, in the last 16 years the US debt went from $6 trillion to $20 trillion. Bush increased it by $4 trillion and Obama by $10 trillion. This country has to start solving some problems and producing.

    I only came back on because I thought Ganim was being blindsided by the protest and pitted him against Trump and Washington, which I thought was not good for the city. But that’s BPT politics. Blindside great movie. BAM I’M OUT. 🙂

  4. One more thing.
    I believe the reason Senator Warren was ‘gaveled down’ is because she did not simply read a letter, she incorporated the negative remark in the letter about fellow Senator Jeff Sessions into her comments. She owned the negative comments as if she wrote them herself.

    Looks like Murphy is becoming a go-to guy for the Democrats. He is always ready to toe the line, referring to the travel ban as a “ban on Muslims.”

  5. C’mon, man. On December 7th, 2015, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of the entry of Muslims to the United States.”
    “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” President Trump said in the press release, implying that all Muslims must hate the U.S. There’s no evidence to support this claim, though Trump has used this kind of rhetoric for years to drum up Islamophobia. But now it’s not a ban. RIGHT.

    Senator Murphy, what is Trump doing now that he didn’t say he was going to do when elected? Senator Murphy, you, Hillary and the rest of the Democratic Party should have taken Trump a little more seriously because all of you slept on this fool and now you see what apathy cost you and America.

Leave a Reply