The legendary Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, in a trio of tweets late Sunday, reported that 21 Republican members of the U.S. Senate have repeatedly if not publicly expressed “extreme contempt” for President Donald Trump, and went on to name them.
In an earlier CNN appearance, he had put the number at 15 who “disdain or even despise” a president from their own party. (There are 53 Republicans in the Senate as presently constituted.)
The Bernstein tweets:
He said his naming names violated no pledge nor ethic of journalism.
Trump, Bernstein said, was behaving in a petulant and selfish — but also dangerous — manner as he claimed on Twitter
and in courts that he could only have lost the presidency to Democrat Joe Biden because of election rigging and voter fraud. (Those claims have gotten no traction in courtrooms, and a bombastic central figure of the Trump legal effort appeared Sunday to have been summarily dismissed, even as “70 or 80 percent of those who call themselves Republicans,” according to public opinion polls, have been swayed by Trump’s vote-rigging claims, Bernstein observed.)
Bernstein did not name Mitch McConnell among the president’s harsh intraparty critics but did say on CNN that his reporting indicated the Senate majority leader had in the past several days been “trying to find a way to bring the country off the ledge.”
As to the peril of that ledge, Bernstein said he is now much more concerned about the fate of the country than he was in the final days of Richard Nixon’s presidency, in that Nixon, at the behest of top congressional Republicans, ultimately left.
Read on: Opinion: Why Trump’s false claims about election fraud resonate so strongly with his supporters
From the MarketWatch archives (June 2020): Trump’s jaw-dropping calls with foreign leaders threaten national security, Carl Bernstein claims
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