Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) the lead Republican negotiator on the failed bipartisan border deal revealed on Wednesday that a “popular commentator” threatened to destroy him if he negotiated a deal to solve the border crisis during the presidential election year.
Lankford made the comment moments before Senate Republicans sunk the bipartisan deal that included many of the policies they wanted.
“Some of them have been very clear with me, they have political differences with the bill,” Lankford said of his GOP colleagues. “They say it’s the wrong time to solve the problem. We’ll let the presidential election solve this problem.”
Lankford went on to say an unnamed “popular commentator” told him weeks before the text of the bill was made public that “‘if you try to move a bill that solves the border crisis during the presidential year, I will do whatever I can to destroy you. Because I do not want you to solve this during the presidential election.'”
“By the way, they have been faithful to their promise, and have done everything they can to destroy me,” Lankford added.
Several pro-Trump members of Congress and right wing media outlets rushed to attack the bill on Sunday after the 370-page legislation was released.
Donald Trump was reportedly urging his allies in Congress to sink the proposal weeks before its text was made public so he can run on the issue in November.
A procedural vote to advance the bipartisan border security deal and foreign aid package with aid for Ukraine and Israel failed on a 49-50 vote in the Senate on Wednesday. It needed at least 60 voted to move forward.