Editor’s Note: SE Cupp is a CNN political commentator and the host of “SE Cupp Unfiltered.” This piece has been adapted from her Saturday evening show monologue. The views expressed in this commentary are solely hers. View more opinion articles on CNN.
Defending the indefensible has become a cottage industry for Republican lawmakers in the era of Trump.
CNN Digital Expansion 2016
In the days and weeks surrounding President Donald Trump’s decision last year to enforce the separation and caging of asylum-seeking children at the southern border, Republican lawmakers were largely supportive of him.
In the days after a baffling news conference last year in which President Trump, standing alongside Vladimir Putin, parroted the duplicitous Russian position that it did not meddle in our elections – even though his own intelligence community had said the opposite – Republican lawmakers shrugged.
In the days and weeks after the release of the Mueller report earlier this year, which revealed multiple examples of the President’s attempts to engage in obstructive conduct, Republican lawmakers were defiantly behind him.
And in the days after the news about President Trump’s alleged attempt to coerce the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rival (Trump denied that was his purpose) – news that unleashed a stunning flood of evidence, transcripts, testimony, texts, and whistleblowers and ultimately resulted in an impeachment inquiry – the GOP circled the wagons around their President.
03:35 - Source: CNN
Gov. Andrew Cuomo addresses women's allegations
Gov. Cuomo's office
Gov. Andrew Cuomo addresses women's allegations
Gov. Cuomo's Office
Cuomo says he has no plans to resign
Elected Republican who supports Biden's bill speaks out
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting about cancer in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
'Neanderthal thinking': Biden on states lifting mask restrictions
'Highly misleading at best': Dale reacts to Pence's op-ed
GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Commanding General District of Columbia National Guard Major General William J. Walker testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs/Rules and Administration hearing to examine the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Nash / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
DC National Guard commander: 'Unusual' Pentagon restrictions slowed response to Capitol riot
MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the January 6th insurrection, in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on March 2, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Watch FBI director debunk conspiracy theories pushed by Trump supporters
Abrams on voting rights: We're fighting to protect our democracy from domestic enemies
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Goya Foods President Robert Unanue speaks at a press conference with Carlos Vecchio, the Venezuelan Ambassador who is recognized by the United States on December 21, 2020 in Doral, Florida. The two held the press conference to discuss details of a recent shipment of humanitarian aid to Venezuela, donated by Goya Foods. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Goya CEO under fire for false Trump election claims
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) speaks to CNN's Alisyn Camerota about why he thinks that the Republican Party will move on from former President Donald Trump.
Kinzinger: Trump is a loser and we will move on
NYC mayor says Gov. Cuomo should resign if allegations are true
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
NYT: Third woman comes forward against Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump depart the White House for Baltimore, Maryland on May 25, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Trumps will attend a Memorial Day ceremony at the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine despite objections by Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young, whose residents remain under a stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
Trump got vaccinated in secret. Here's why this matters
Republican lawmaker reacts to being on Trump's 'enemies list'
Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during the first day of the Republican convention at the Mellon auditorium on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Haley flip flops on Trump, praising his 'strong speech'
Those are just a few of the many embarrassing episodes from the past few years where Republican lawmakers had opportunities to condemn the indefensible, and many have chosen not to. Many, in fact, have decided to abandon their conservative principles, their ethical and constitutional obligations – not to mention their sense of common decency – to justify Trump’s odious behavior and deleterious decisions.