On CNN Monday, veteran Watergate reported Carl Bernstein tore into the GOP for sticking by former President Donald Trump even as he appears in serious legal jeopardy for hoarding highest-level classified information at his Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida — even as, Bernstein noted, many of them are privately sick of his control of the party.
"Did you ever think you would see a former president of the United States show such little regard for ... key American institutions?" asked anchor Wolf Blitzer.
"No," said Bernstein. "Almost everything that Donald Trump did as president, and as an ex-president, is unlike anything we've seen. We have Donald Trump and a far-right Republican Party which is enthralled to his authoritarianism and excesses, and why Donald Trump in part has managed to produce in terms of the legislative goals, the judicial goals of the far right, of Mitch McConnell and the judiciary, of authoritarianism and to the point of really moving toward the acceptance of hatred in this country. The hatred of some religious groups, the hatred of some ethnicities. Not to say that it is the policy of the Republican Party, but rather that the individuals in the leadership of the Republican Party have not made it their business to say this is not our agenda. Donald Trump's authoritarianism, that is not our agenda. We haven't had that."
"Many national reporters understand from their sources who are assistants and staff of most of the leaders of the Republican Party on the Hill in the Senate, a great number of House members, they are being told how their bosses are in private despise Donald Trump, hold him in utter contempt, think he is a criminal, think he is dangerous," Bernstein continued. That is what many members of the Senate say, their aides say to me and others. Same in the House. And yet we allow the stories to go on that as if there is great belief in this president among these same Republican leaders and members of the Congress."
"I did a story back oh, a year or two ago, two years ago, saying that 21 members of the Senate, according to their aides, despised Donald Trump, hold him in contempt and I named them. And there was maybe one or two denials from those senators," Bernstein said. "I got a call the next day from a Republican senator. He said, Carl, the number is really closer to 40."
"This is the way Donald Trump — these Republicans in the leadership know who he is," added Bernstein. "They understand the danger to the country posed by him. And yet they are so craven, so afraid of being unelected, so afraid of being primaried, that they will not do what the Republicans during the Richard Nixon conspiracy did, get up and say, we cannot have criminality in our president, former president, and he must be held accountable. And indeed we are now seeing a president, a former president who probably may face indictment in three different cases. We don't know that he will. But it certainly is possible."
Carl Bernstein on the GOP's private hatred of Trump www.youtube.com