Impending tariffs and the Mueller report were two of the hot topics during a telephone town hall meeting with Congressman Markwayne Mullin this week.
From the capitol, Mullin carved out an hour to take questions from his constituents during a conference call Monday night.
Before launching into question and answer mode, Mullin took the opportunity to discuss an issue he thinks is a hot topic—tariffs on all imports from Mexico.
"The president has announced that we're going to implement a five percent tariff on all goods being shipped in from Mexico starting June 5. The question has been- how is the president able to do that," Mullin said. "Well, it's a national emergency going on our southern border. The month of May we had record numbers that we haven't seen in the past 12 years. We had the largest one individual apprehension of illegal immigrants, which was over 1,000, which was at one entry point last month. What we're saying is the government in Mexico needs to be doing more. A lot of these individuals aren't just coming from Mexico. They're traveling through Mexico to get to the U.S. The president under what we call the Emergency Economic Powers Act, which allows the president to regulate trade to deal with "unusual or extraordinary threats."
Mullin said, "The president has declared a national emergency, this warrants an unusual or extraordinary threat because of the type of individuals that are flooding our borders. The president has the right to hold Mexico, the Mexican government, accountable."
The first caller in the queue wanted to talk about the Mueller report. Namely, if anyone has actually read it.
"Also, Mr. Trump has been surrounded by people engaged in illegal activity. It seems to me that a man who surrounds himself with criminals may be guilty of something himself," the caller said. "This is bringing it right back to Congress. This is going to be your job and the job of all the other elected officials. To find out the truth of the matter. To dismiss the idea of impeachment is improper. I'm not in favor of it myself, but it is your job to look into this."
"We have been," Mullin said immediately. "Just because you have people that surround yourself in a political world doesn't make you corrupt….If you're going to sit there and say just because he had people around him that are corrupt it sure seems like he's corrupt himself, I want to explain to you about politics. In politics people around you will hurt you a lot to gain themselves a little. If you're guilty by association on everybody that you're around in the political world—then, my Lord. I don't 'know who I rub shoulders with every day, I don't know their background. I have to take them for face value…and that's what the president did. He took these individuals for their face value because he's not familiar with politics, he's new. He's from outside of it. When he found out who they were he quickly, quickly separated himself from the."
Mullin added that the "Mueller report clearly said [Trump] had opportunities to do so yet he did not. That tells you right there that he's an honest man."
"How long are you congressmen going to sit up there and put up with all the foolishness going on? All you hear from the democrats is "impeach Trump, impeach Trump, impeach Trump.' But I don't know of anything he's done that's an impeachable offense. The way Nancy Pelosi tries to fight against everything that's any good, why don't you all try to impeach her? And this Ocasio? I think you've laid back long enough. What is the matter with congress anymore?" the next caller asked.
Mullin explained that members of congress cannot be impeached, but can be expelled from the house chamber. This, he said, has happened roughly five times in history, three of these instances being during the Civil War.
He explained that a "very high" threshold must be met before that is a feasible option.
"Just because you disagree with them doesn't mean you can exclude them. They have to do something illegal, be charged with something, you have to catch them doing something. I don't agree with Cortez, Omar or Pelosi, I don't agree with a lot of them on that side of the aisle. But just because I don't' agree with them doesn't mean I can expel them from the house chamber. If that was the case, they could expel me because I'm sure the things I do, they don't agree with either," Mullin said.
The next few callers praised Mullin's attentiveness to his constituents, sharing their stories of support.
A Claremore caller asked Mullin to "get with his congressman buddies and peers and stop the witch hunt"
The Claremore constituent said money is being wasted and the president is being prevented from effectively doing his job. The country, therefore, is losing the opportunity to earn back a position of leadership for the world.
"I agree," Mullin said. "This weekend I was talking to some farmers about how these tariffs have negatively effected them but they're very supportive of the president. they're going to be there for ht president. One guy even said "even if it costs me my family farm, what he's trying to do by re-negotiating these trade deal with china and these countries that's been taking advantage of us' I wholeheartedly support.' I thought, wow. This farmer that's already hurting because of the flood is telling me he's willing to sacrifice his entire farm to upright the United States and, as the president says, make America great again. Because even this farmer knows these countries have been taking advantage of our lax trade deals, and how they've been taking advantage of the United States and how it's costing us jobs."
Mullin told all of his constituents on the call that President Trump has sacrificed a lot to serve this country.
"Forbes magazine came out and said that Donald Trump's wealth has dropped by $600 million since he's been in office… He has lost more than most will ever make because of his willingness to serve this country. Because he wants to truly make America great again. We can talk about his antics, but his policies have truly been right for this country," Mullin said.