It was a familiar dilemma for GOP senators who were being chased by journalists over their views on Trump’s latest nuisance, but in this case it came with terrible timing – eight weeks before an election where the Senate is on the line, And as expected, note the Democrats blocking the coronovirus relief bill on Thursday at the procedural pace.
Personally, Senate Republicans expressed displeasure that Trump agreed to 18 interviews with Woodward, some of which were taking place as late as 10 in the evening.
“Most of us say, ‘What the hell is he talking to Bob Woodward at 11 o’clock at night?” One GOP senator said.
The source said, “He does a lot of things that none of us understand.”
Trump told Woodward that he intentionally reduced the severity of the coronavirus epidemic, which now killed more than 190,000 people in the United States, because he did not want to start a panic.
The comment has been rebuffed by critics, who say Trump probably would have saved his life if he had been too persistent and loudly sounded the alarm about a virus that, in private, he acknowledged was much more common than the common flu Was bad
Trump defended his conduct this week, stating that he was working as a cheerleader for the country and that it was right that people should not overcome panic. But some GOP senators are not buying damage control.
Sen Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOVERNIGHT Energy: Democrats put forward the resolution to fight climate change, sluggish economy and racial injustice. Senators’ Agreement on Greenhouse Gas Amendment Stalling Energy Bill | The Offshore Drilling Moratorium Senator Arrives With Trump Court of Florida Voters to Compromise on Greenhouse Gas Amendment, Prohibiting Bipartisan Energy Bill. Top health officials have vowed to keep politics away from the COVID-19 vaccine process. (R-Alaska), who said earlier this year that she would certainly not vote for Trump, admitted Thursday that she was “very concerned” about the accounts read in the press.
“Some things I find quite surprising and quite relatable. But again, I did not get the opportunity to read these full interviews, but some press snippets are definitely very, very, very relatable, ”she told reporters.
Sen Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt Romney The Memo: Woodward Revelations Trump upset Senate Senate panel to vote next week to authorize subpoena for Biden, Obama-era investigation of Hill’s campaign report : Florida hangs in the balance (R-Utah), who voted to convict Trump on an article of impeachment in February, said the president should have leveled with the nation about the threat of coronovirus when he was in national security in January. The officers were alerted.
“I think we’re always better tier with the American public and it maintains credibility when you believe in another, rather than trying to tell one thing more,” Romney said.
Other Republican senators have publicly removed the Woodward book and defended Trump, saying they took coronoviruses seriously and helped save lives.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mich.) Michelle McConnell Helicon Valley: Russia, China and Iran Target US Elections Twitter to Remove Premature Election Results | Treasury Adds Russian, Ukrainians to Named Citizens List Overnight Health Care: Senate Democrats Block GOP Relief Bill | Democrats reveal Medicaid chief’s spending on high-paying advisors. Trump questioned the call about why he had ‘lied’ about COVID-19: Senate on money: Democrats block GOP relief bill | Senators don’t get hope after the election Unemployed claims more plateau (R-Ky.) Said in an interview with Fox News that officials in Washington knew coronaviruses would be dangerous.
“Well, I haven’t read the Woodward book, but we all know it was dangerous.” The President knew that it was dangerous and I think very soon positive steps were taken, for which he should be applauded, not criticized. ”
The issue did not come up in conference-wide afternoon meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, although Republican senators have discussed the matter in small private conversations.
A second Republican senator said peers were trying to understand the political implication of Woodward’s reporting less than two months before Election Day.
“What do they say to me, ‘Did you see this?’ and what does it mean?” The lawyer said, marking conversations with colleagues.
Trump is behind the Democratic candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris calls it ‘outrageous’ Trump topples coronovar. Historian predicted Trump would have known the epidemic as ‘the greatest expression of duty’ in presidential history. Defense, Trump announced the new US ambassador to Afghanistan. Pentagon officially withdraws plan to end ‘Stars and Stripes’ Biden says Trump doesn’t understand national security, Intel officials don’t trust him any more Major swing elections say the election will decide, although margins are close. The GOP has a 53–47 seat lead in the Senate, meaning Democrats can gain a majority by gaining the White House and three seats.
Some Republicans view the Woodward book as a beltway story that is unlikely to have real waves in the election.
“I just wonder, ‘Whose vote would change from a Bob Woodward book?” The second Republican senator said.
“As Fauci said yesterday, basically nobody got this right. He basically said that the president did not distort reality,” the source said, referring to Anthony FauciAnthony Fausifaukee warns US to ‘hunker down’ for fall, winter: ‘It won’t be easy’ Three ways to move communities forward Poll: Most Americans won’t take a COVID-19 vaccine before electionDirector of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
In late January Fauci said: “We are still at low risk to the American public, but we want to keep it at low risk.”
Trump’s comment about coronovirus is not the only controversial comment in the Woodward book.
Woodward also told Trump, quoting his trade adviser Peter Navarro, that “my fucking generals have a bunch of kinks” because they “cared more about their alliances than they do about trade deals.”
Woodward was asked if he was “trying to understand the anger and pain that, in particular, the black people feel in this country,” Trump replied: “Have you really drank Kool-Aid, have you You didn’t? Just listen too. Wow. No, I don’t think so. ”
McConnell raised questions about Woodward’s reporting in a press conference on Wednesday, which was intended to focus the Republican’s upcoming vote on the slimmed-down coronavirus relief bill.
“I did not see the book Woodward. I would later say, “When McConnell asked if Trump had endangered Americans by not fully articulating the health threat.” “This is a question for the White House.”
Senate Republicans in tough races also avoided questions about Woodward’s reporting.
Sen Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump sparks payroll-tax referral backlash for federal employees that Lieberman endorses Susan Collins: ‘I’m a lifelong Democrat, but I put my country first’ McConnell tries to unify GOP more (R-Maine) went hastily in a series of votes on Thursday morning after a colleague rebuffed him who rescued him from a reporter who had asked a question about Trump to minimize the threat of coronovirus .
Sen Jonny ErnstJonny KA Ernst the Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind – VP Nominee Harris, VP Pence Chryscross Wisconsin Today GOP debunks to troll Hill’s 12:30 report to dismiss COVID-19’s death Used the principle made: the first Kennedy to lose the Massachusetts election (R-Iowa) told reporters that she had not read Sen’s Woodward reporting. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyMark Kelly apologizes for outrageous 2018 joke When Trump talks or tweets, the trouble is that Democrats hold the lead in the Arizona, North Carolina Senate: Poll MORE (R-Arise.) It also said that it had not reviewed what Trump allegedly said.
Senate Republican Whip John thunJohn Randolph ThuneSenate Democrats block GOP relief bill McConnell alleges Democrats sabotage COVID-19 relief talks McConnell sidesteps GOP support for coronovirus package (RS.D.), who sometimes criticizes Trump’s most provocative behavior, said on Thursday that he did not pay much attention to Trump’s uproar caused by Woodward’s comments.
“I’m more concerned about the actions that were actually taken to address the crisis and I believe the White House has worked with Congress on a number of solutions – the CARES package and others – to get help from there for.”
Thun said the question about Trump’s decision to reduce the severity of the virus “and who said that when there is probably a question you should direct to the White House.”
Asked how he would grade Trump’s initial reaction to the virus in January, February and March, Thune replied: “I’m not [going to] Give letter grade or point grade. it’s not about. ”
“We are where we are and all of us have tried the right things to help the country survive and recover under very difficult circumstances,” he said. Was everything correct? No, there were hiccups and speedbumps along the way? Yes. ”
Jordan Carney contributed.