WATERGATE journalist Carl Bernstein has released the names of 21 Republican senators who have privately expressed their “extreme contempt” for President Donald Trump.
Bernstein tweeted out his list on Sunday night, writing that he was not “violating any pledge of journalistic confidentially in reporting this.”
He said he learned of the top leaders’ “contempt” for Trump based on conversations with “colleagues, staff members, lobbyists, and [White] House aides."
Bernstein identified many prominent senators, including: Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Chuck Grassley, Martha McSally.
Rob Portman, Lamar Alexander, Roy Blunt, John Cornyn, John Thune, Mitt Romney, Mike Braun, Todd Young, Tim Scott, Richard Burr, Pat Toomey, Jerry Moran, Pat Roberts, and Richard Shelby were also identified.
Bernstein wrote that: With few exceptions, their craven public silence has helped enable Trump’s most grievous conduct—including undermining and discrediting the US the electoral system.”
Many of the senators who were name-dropped on Sunday have often publicly supported Trump.
Trump recently campaigned for Arizona's McSally, who lost her re-election bid, and Florida Senator Rubio spoke at a recent Trump rally.
Scott – Florida's other senator who recently tested positive for Covid – is also a prominent Trump supporter.
Others, including Toomey, Murkowski, Romney, Sasse, and Collins, have congratulated Joe Biden on his 2020 victory, acknowledging he is the president-elect.
During a CNN interview, Bernstein said: “What I’m doing is I’m not violating a journalistic principle because they’ve told me what I’m about to say.”
“For two or three years I’ve talked to members of staffs of the senators, members of committees… aides, assistants, people who have worked for these people.”
The journalist said that “many, if not most” of the senators he listed “were happy to see Donald Trump defeated in this election as long as the Senate could be controlled by the Republicans.”
“They’ve experienced Donald Trump and his dishonesty… and they know what Donald Trump has done to undermine the confidence in our institutions.”
Republicans who have broken from Trump in public is risky – considering Trump has showed he’s eager to challenge those up for re-election with people he feels are loyal to him.
Last week, for example, Trump hinted that he might support a challenger to Republican Ohio Governor Mike DeWine after DeWine called Biden “president-elect.”
Former Republican senators like Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, who both criticized Trump chose to retire from Congress altogether instead of facing a primary challenge from Trump-backed candidates.
Bernstein, along with journalist Bob Woodward, broke the Watergate scandal as reporters for The Washington Post in the 1970s.
Their reporting on a break-in at the Democratic National Committee that was connected to then-President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign led to Nixon’s resignation in 1974.
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