Steve Schmidt rips Trump for 'the greatest tragedy in the history of the United States'
Composite image of Joy Reid and Steve Schmidt on MSNBC (screengrabs)

Lincoln Project member and longtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt on Tuesday blasted President Donald Trump for America's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schmidt was interviewed by MSNBC's Joy Reid on "The ReidOut," who asked him about the new tapes released by journalist Bob Woodward, showing that Trump was misleading Americans about coronavirus.

"Donald Trump has confessed on tape to the greatest and most deadly lie in all the long history of the United States, bar none," Schmidt charged.

"It is a failure of leadership at a profound level. It is a failure of moral leadership that is unequaled in the country's history," he explained. "He knew how deadly this was."

"Every United States senator in the Republican Party who heard Trump, week-by-week, day-by-day, saying that this was a hoax, that it was a Democratic hoax, that it would magically go away -- not one of those people took to the floor of the Senate and said, 'What the hell are you doing?' Not one of them went to the oval office and said, 'Stop it, Mr. President, you're killing people,'" he continued.

"We have a president of the United States who is fundamentally indifferent to the lives of the American people.  This is the greatest tragedy in the history of the United States for no other reason than it's a completely preventable tragedy," said Schmidt. "It did not have to be like this. The United States did not have to be the epicenter of coronavirus death and suffering in the world. Our economy did not have to be shattered. The education of every American kid did not have to be disrupted."

"We could have had, and still can have a national strategy, but not unless and until Donald Trump is removed from power in an election of the American people to pick a new president because he has demonstrated a total incapacity to deal with this situation, this crisis, this pandemic," he continued. "And his failure ranks literally as the deadliest and the greatest by any American in the entire history of the country who has been charged with responsibility for other people's lives."