Legendary reporter Carl Bernstein this week threw down the gauntlet at Republican senators who secretly despise President Donald Trump, even as they publicly remain silent about his attacks on American democracy.
Writing on Twitter late Sunday night, Bernstein revealed that nearly two dozen GOP senators regard Trump with “extreme contempt,” even though most of them would never dare say so publicly.
“I’m not violating any pledge of journalistic confidentially in reporting this: 21 Republican senators — in convos with colleagues, staff members, lobbyists, White House aides — have repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump & his fitness to be POTUS,” Bernstein wrote.
He then got right down to naming and shaming.
“The 21 GOP Senators who have privately expressed their disdain for Trump are: Portman, Alexander, Sasse, Blunt, Collins, Murkowski, Cornyn, Thune, Romney, Braun, Young, Tim Scott, Rick Scott, Rubio, Grassley, Burr, Toomey, McSally, Moran, Roberts, Shelby,” he revealed. “With few exceptions, their craven public silence has helped enable Trump’s most grievous conduct — including undermining and discrediting the US the electoral system.”
The 21 GOP Senators who have privately expressed their disdain for Trump are: Portman, Alexander, Sasse, Blunt, Collins, Murkowski, Cornyn, Thune, Romney, Braun, Young, Tim Scott, Rick Scott, Rubio, Grassley, Burr, Toomey, McSally, Moran, Roberts, Shelby. (2/3)
— Carl Bernstein (@carlbernstein) November 23, 2020
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McConnell Delivers Defiant Address Supporting Trump’s False Claims of Election Fraud – Right After Meeting With Barr
Bill Barr, conspicuously absent from public view for weeks, on Monday walked into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s office. Minutes after the U.S. Attorney General departed, the Kentucky Republican went to the Senate floor and delivered a vicious and defiant address in support of President Donald Trump’s spurious and dangerous claims of election fraud.
McConnell did not refer to Biden as the President-elect.
Barr refused to talk to reporters, even refusing to answer questions about the alleged fraud that Trump has maintained exists but has refused to provide any real evidence of.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) November 9, 2020
Leaving Mitch McConnell’s office, Attorney General Bill Barr ignored questions, including when I asked him if he’s seen any evidence of voter fraud.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 9, 2020
Washington Post National Political Reporter Robert Costa reports that “McConnell, the most powerful Republican in Congress, stands firmly with President Trump as the president fights his legal battles. Rails against ‘far left mobs,’ minutes after meeting with AG Barr at the Capitol. Wants ‘no lectures’ from Democrats.”
MITCH MCCONNELL: “Trump is 100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options…no lectures about how [he] should…accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent 4 years refusing to accept…the last election.” pic.twitter.com/rZWGovF5OE
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) November 9, 2020
But McConnell may not be refusing to acknowledge President-elect Biden’s Electoral College and popular vote win to appease Trump. Rather, he may be doing it to save his own job as Majority Leader. Costa reports McConnell needs to keep the base united, energized, and “stoked”:
Based on my convos with Rs over wknd, most everything McConnell does from here on isn’t about January 20th (inauguration day & working with Biden) but January 5th (the Georgia run-off elections). To win the latter, Rs believe the base must be stoked, esp in a fast-changing state.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) November 9, 2020
Others see a more sinister threat — given Barr’s actions in support of Trump, the latter seems more likely.
Here’s election law expert Rick Hasen raising concerns:
So did Barr tell McConnell to publicly leave the door open for Trump legal challenges?
— Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) November 9, 2020
There remain concerns, at least among rank and file Democrats, that Trump and team still plan to steal the election.
57 Buffalo Cops Resign From Response Team to Support Suspended Officers Who Pushed Down Elderly Man
The entire Buffalo Police Department Emergency Response Team — a total of 57 officers — has resigned from the team in support of the two officers who pushed 75-year-old Martin Gugino to the ground, seriously injuring him.
They are still employed, but no longer on ERT.
According to Buffalo Police Benevolent Association president John Evans, the cops who pushed Gugino down were just following orders.
“Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,” Evans, said in a statement.
This is a developing story. Check WIVB4 for updates.
‘Their Souls Are Trying to Reenter Their Bodies’: Rick Wilson Explains Why Republicans Are Flipping Out About Romney
At the close of his Wednesday evening show, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell played clips from the 2012 Republican Party convention where everyone from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and others celebrated Mitt Romney. After Romney refused to vote for acquit President Donald Trump, he’s become a pariah.
Former Republican Rick Wilson explained that this was the example of the way that Trump has become a parasite that isn’t just leaching it away, “it ate the Republican Party from the inside out. And the shell that still remains, everything has to be years here, it has to be reset because it’s all about Donald now.”
He explained that there are now two groups of Republican senators: the “coward caucus” who privately rails against Trump and hate him. Then there are the “Trumpers” who think they can parlay Trump’s support into their own presidency someday.
O’Donnell noted that if the GOP collapses after Trump, it could mean Romney rises from the ashes.
“Well, if it collapses after Trump — they’ve lost 650 seats across the country since Donald Trump took office at various levels of government,” said Wilson. “So the collapse is underway, and you know, I think there will be principled Republicans at the end of the day, there won’t be a lot. I joke sometimes you could sit us around a Waffle House table. But people today watched Mitt Romney display political courage.”
Wilson said that Romney and Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) displayed huge political courage. Jones is up for reelection after winning Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat when Trump appointed him to the Justice Department. Trump then fired Sessions and spent the better part of a year attacking him. Now Sessions is trying to get his seat back.
“It’s so dangerous to the Trump people that instead of taking their victory lap today, what have they done? The line-up on that other network tonight was basically about ‘they hate Mitt Romney,’” Wilson continued. “It was the screaming fest about ‘Romney, the traitor,’ and all this. It really tells you what happens when these Republicans hear a message like that. They feel pain. It’s their souls trying to re-enter their bodies. But it’s this physical sense of anxiety they get from someone opposing Trump.”
Watch the full commentary below:
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