While Senate Republicans have publicly been generally supportive of the Trump administration over the past four years, a surprising number of them are allegedly “happy” to see President Donald Trump leave the White House.
As veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, who helped expose the Watergate scandal nearly a half-century ago, shared a list this week of GOP legislators he claims have “repeatedly expressed extreme contempt” for the president.
“Craven public silence”
Obviously foreseeing the backlash such a move would attract, Berstein attached a disclaimer to his incendiary tweet, asserting that he was “not violating any pledge of journalistic confidentially [sic] in reporting this.”
He went on to list 21 names, including a few unsurprising entries — like Sens. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) — with a record of speaking out against the president on multiple occasions.
The rest of the list included Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Roy Blount of Missouri, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John Cornyn of Texas, John Thune of South Dakota, Mike Braun of Indiana, Todd Young of Indiana, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rick Scott of Florida, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Richard Burr, of Iowa, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Martha McSally of Arizona, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Pat Roberts of Kansas, and Richard Shelby of Alabama.
Leaving little about his own stance to the imagination, Bernstein slammed the “craven public silence” by Trump’s “enablers” as the president continues to contest the validity of the recent presidential election.
Even as many of Trump’s supporters openly echo his claims that fraud was a factor in his reported re-election loss, Bernstein claimed during a recent CNN interview that many Republicans are secretly happy he lost.
“More false news”
“Perhaps half of the Republican members of the Senate despise and disdain Donald Trump,” he said. “They were happy to see him lose as long as they could hold on to a Senate majority.”
Of course, there is no real way of knowing if Bernstein’s assessment is accurate. After all, he has frequently spoken out against the Trump administration and at least some of those senators on his list have since denied the accusation.
Braun brushed off the claims as “more false news from a CNN political analyst,” noting that he was among Trump’s “top defenders during impeachment and strongly support his legal efforts to ensure that every legal vote is counted.”
As for Romney, however, as a spokesperson told the Associated Press that his “views about the president are well known by the public.”
A Scott spokesperson said the South Carolina senator “has never met, talked to or considered interacting with Mr. Bernstein, so no one should give any weight to the baseless accusations of someone who clearly has an axe to grind with the president.”