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Carl Bernstein named 21 GOP senators who he said are enabling Trump's attempts to subvert US democracy by only criticising him in private

Business Insider Australia logo Business Insider Australia 23/11/2020 Sinéad Baker
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump. President Donald Trump.
  • Carl Bernstein named 21 Republican senators who he says have privately expressed "extreme contempt" for President Donald Trump.
  • Bernstein, one of the Watergate journalists, said the senators have "have repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump & his fitness to be POTUS."
  • He said that their silence has "helped enable Trump's most grievous conduct-including undermining and discrediting the US the electoral system."
  • Some of the senators he named has acknowledged Joe Biden's presidential win, but Bernstein told CNN that he's known some of their feelings for the last "two or three years ."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Legendary reporter Carl Bernstein has published a list of 21 Republican senators who he says have privately expressed "extreme contempt" for President Donald Trump but won't express it publicly.

Bernstein, who reported on the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, tweeted the list on Sunday.

He said that the senators "have repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump & his fitness to be POTUS" in conversations with colleagues, staff members, lobbyists, and White House aides.

He said that these senators, by not speaking publicly, were allowing Trump to undermine the US voting system as he refuses to concede the election, baselessly claiming that it he lost due to voter fraud.

Bernstein said: "With few exceptions, their craven public silence has helped enable Trump's most grievous conductâ€"including undermining and discrediting the US the electoral system."

The senators he named are:

  • Rob Portman (Ohio)
  • Lamar Alexander (Tennessee)
  • Ben Sasse (Nebraska)
  • Roy Blunt (Missouri)
  • Susan Collins (Maine)
  • Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
  • John Cornyn (Texas)
  • John Thune (South Dakota)
  • Mitt Romney (Utah)
  • Mike Braun (Indiana)
  • Todd Young (Indiana)
  • Tim Scott (South Carolina)
  • Rick Scott (Florida)
  • Marco Rubio (Florida)
  • Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
  • Richard Burr (North Carolina)
  • Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)
  • Martha McSally (Arizona)
  • Jerry Moran (Kansas)
  • Pat Roberts (Kansas)
  • Richard Shelby (Alabama)

These 21 senators make up almost 40% of the 53 Republicans currently in the Senate.

Despite Trump's protests, some Republican senators have acknowledged Joe Biden as the president-elect.

These include five of the Republican senators listed by Bernstein: Romney, Rubio, Murkowski, Toomey, and Collins.

Romney has also previously been critical of Trump, and recently shared a blistering statement about Trump's response to the election results, saying: "It's difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President."

Speaking to CNN, Bernstein said: "Many, if 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."

He said that more Republicans needed to speak out against Trump: "We are witnessing the mad king in the final days of his reign, willing to scorch the earth of his country and bring down the whole system, to undermine our whole democracy, strip it of its legitimacy, poison the confidence of our people in our institutions and the constitution for Donald Trump's own petulant, selfish, rabid ends."

"We have a President of the United States for the first time in our history sabotaging this country."

You can watch him speaking here:

Replay Video

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