CNN journalist Carl Bernstein named 21 Republican senators that he said have privately condemned President Donald Trump but publicly support him.
“I'm not violating any pledge of journalistic confidentially in reporting this,” Bernstein wrote on Twitter, reporting that 21 Republican senators in conversations with colleagues, staff, lobbyists, and White House aides have “expressed extreme contempt for Trump” and his fitness to be in office.
The list included John Cornyn (Texas), Rick Scott (Fla.), John Thune (S.D.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Braun (Ind.), Todd Young (Ind.), Tim Scott (S.D.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Richard Burr (N.C.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Pat Roberts (Kansas), and Richard Shelby (Ala.).
“With few exceptions, their craven public silence has helped enable Trump’s most grievous conduct—including undermining and discrediting the US the electoral system,” Bernstein wrote.
Half of GOP happy Trump lost, Bernstein says:
The famed Watergate journalist told CNN that many Republicans are happy Trump lost even as they stay silent on his attempt to overturn the result of the election.
"Many if not most of these individuals, from what I've been told, were to see Donald Trump defeated in this election as long as the Senate could be controlled by the Republicans," he said.
"We are witnessing the mad king, in the final days of his reign, willing to scorch the earth of his country and bring down the whole system, to undermine our democracy, strip it of its legitimacy, poison the confidence of our people in our institutions and the Constitution for Donald Trump's own petulant, selfish, rabid ends," he told the network. "We have a president, for the first time in our history, sabotaging his country."
As Republicans stay silent, he added, their supporters are latching on to Trump’s false claims.
"We're going to have to live with the legacy of this sabotage," he said.
Bernstein called for reporters to out GOP:
The revelation came a week after Bernstein called on reporters to “start calling these senators out” for enabling Trump.
"It's time that we start calling these senators out, perhaps by name, in terms of what they really believe, what they tell us as reporters on background,” he said. "They have enabled part of this disinformation campaign, and even some of them are talking about a 'coup' that Donald Trump is trying to initiate here and hang in the office by challenging legislatures in the Electoral College, et cetera, et cetera. They know what's going on. They won't speak out. The dirty secret is perhaps these Republicans in the Senate, and we have to figure out a new way to cover them and what they are really saying to each other."