Political reporters in Washington, D.C., have been saying a lot of Republicans in Congress privately despise President Trump, but few have publicly criticized him — and likewise, few have publicly acknowledged his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden. Carl Bernstein, one half of the journalistic duo that uncovered President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, named 21 names on Sunday night, saying that in private conversations, these Republicans senators “have repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump” and his fitness to be president.
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
The 21 senators he named include names you would expect, but also some surprises, like Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), Sen. Rick Scott (Fla.), and Senate Majority Whip John Thune (S.D.). The other 18 GOP senators are 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” — Romney and Sasse, mostly — “their craven public silence has helped enable Trump’s most grievous conduct — including undermining and discrediting the U.S. the electoral system,” wrote Bernstein, who’s made his own feelings about Trump clear for a while. He had named 15 of those senators on CNN late last week, saying “many, of not most, of these individuals, from what I have been told, were happy to see Donald Trump defeated in this election, as long as the Senate could be controlled by the Republicans.[embedded content]
Bernstein added that he is “much more concerned” now than at the end of Watergate, because “Nixon left — Republicans convinced him to go, and he did.” Peter Weber