5 congressional Republicans who actually seem willing to challenge Donald Trump's power


Remember back during the campaign when United States House Speaker Paul Ryan seemed like he was done with Donald Trump?

As recently as October, after tape of the man who is now our president telling Billy Bush how he likes to "grab [women] by the pussy" exploded online, the speaker publicly refused to defend Trump.

But those days are gone. Like so many he belittled and demeaned during his campaign, Trump now has Ryan in the palm of his tiny, tiny hand. The House speaker has apparently become staunchly pro-Trump, deciding he doesn't care about Trump's many outstanding conflicts of interest and supporting his xenophobic executive order on immigration, along with the president's plan to build a stupid border wall. Ryan seems to have made this deal with the devil, presumably, so he can cut taxes and finally kill the Affordable Care Act. 

Fortunately, there seem to be some Republicans who are willing to stand up to Trump. Here are a few in Congress who have challenged the president in the administration's early days:

Sen. John McCain

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

John McCain (R-Ariz.) has, on multiple occasions, taken a stand against Trump. Most recently, he slammed the president's anti-Muslim executive order as a "self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism" that "sends a signal" that the U.S. does not welcome Muslims.

In January, when Trump advocated for the use of waterboarding, McCain — himself a survivor of torture — vowed to push back against the administration.

“The president can sign whatever executive orders he likes," McCain said in a statement. "But the law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the United States of America."

Sen. Lindsey Graham

Evan Vucci/AP

Along with McCain, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has challenged Trump's xenophobic order barring refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States — much to the chagrin of Trump himself. On Jan. 31, Graham promised to help a data scientist from his home state of South Carolina who has been stranded in Tehran because of Trump's executive action. "She's a valid visa holder. She's paying taxes, and she's adding value to this business," he said at Modjoul, the start-up where Nazanin Zinouri works. "She's intelligent. She adds value to our country, and I'll find a way to fix this problem."

Graham has also blasted Trump for dismissing intelligence that Russia interfered with the U.S. election after the president claimed — without a shred of evidence — that millions of people voted illegally and for proposing a 20% border tax on Mexico. "Mucho sad," Graham tweeted. 

Sen. Susan Collins

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In August, the Maine Republican announced that she would not be casting her vote for Donald Trump. On Wednesday, she became the first of two GOP Senators to announce she would not support one of Trump's cabinet picks — Betsy DeVos, his controversial nominee for education secretary.

"I simply cannot support her confirmation," Collins said

Sen. Lisa Murkowski

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Lisa Murkowski — with Sen. Collins — is one of two Republican Senators to publicly oppose the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education. 

“I have heard from thousands, truly, thousands of Alaskans who have shared their concerns about Mrs. DeVos,” the Alaska Republican said, announcing that she intended to vote "no" on Trump's cabinet pick. 

Rep. Justin Amash

Carlos Osorio/AP

Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash issued a powerful rebuke of Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, calling it "not lawful," "troubling" and "not consistent with our nation's values."

Other Republicans in the Senate and House have also criticized Trump's Muslim ban. None, however, are House Speaker Paul Ryan