Carl Bernstein of the Watergate fame is back. This time, it’s not to lead a high-profile investigation of a scandal in the White House that will lead to a president’s resignation, but to call out some Republican senators who have secretly hidden their disdain for President Donald Trump, AP News writes.
Bernstein was in a tell-all mode on Monday when he took to Twitter to reveal the names of about 21 senators from the Republican divide who may have expressed their lack of confidence in Trump’s capacity to lead the country.
The outed senators criticized the revelations by Bernstein and expressed deep reservations about the new route Bernstein’s journalism had taken. Bernstein in the 70s collaborated with Bob Woodward to dish out investigative reports that made President Richard Nixon resign from office.
After widespread condemnations for the post, the famed reporter said he didn’t break his word on keeping the identity of the senators a secret, as no such commitment was made. Rather, he said he learned about their misgivings towards Trump’s presidency through private conversations with their colleagues, staff, White House aides, and lobbyists.
He said that although most of these senators do not support the controversial policies and behavior of the president in the camera, they have never found the courage to step out publicly and say something. Their silence, Bernstein said, has enabled Trump to push policies that went against the public interest in the last four years and to take actions that have brought the US electoral system to disrepute, as he is currently doing.
Bernstein, who is currently a CNN political analyst, has refused to make further comments regarding his tweets. While many reporters may have been subtle about calling out senators who they think are not on the same page with Trump privately, Bernstein is the first journalist to call them out publicly. He said these senators were pleased that Trump lost the election, the Guardian reveals.
Some senators on the list have already reacted to Bernstein’s post. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, through his spokesman, said the report is the figment of the imagination of Bernstein. He said he had disagreed with Trump both in public and in private and had never adopted double standards in that respect. He derided journalists, especially of the Washington stock, who churned out unfounded claims they heard from gossips as news items.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman responded next. He said he’s never talked with Bernstein and is at a loss where the renowned journalist got his information from. Portman had in a column he writes for a newspaper, asked the president to take steps towards a smooth transition.
Many have criticized the approach Bernstein took. Professor Roy Gutterman of Syracuse University thinks Bernstein may have breached a few journalism ethics. He said the journalist might dent a reputation of thorough investigative journalism that he’s built over the years.
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was also on the list, but his name was no surprise. Romney is a public critic of the President. Sen. Todd Young of Indiana said he wouldn’t be dignifying Bernstein’s unsubstantiated claims with a reply. Meanwhile, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said he had never spoken to Bernstein on any occasion.