Watergate journalist calls Trump’s coronavirus response as a ‘grievous’ felony: ‘We are witnessing a homicidal presidency'
President Donald Trump has been drawing a great deal of criticism for recent campaign events in which social distancing guidelines were ignored and protective face masks were few and far between — first a MAGA rally in Henderson, Nevada (a Las Vegas suburb) on Sunday, September 13, then a “Latinos for Trump” event in Phoenix the following day. Some of the criticism is coming from veteran journalist/author Carl Bernstein, who is arguing that Trump’s disregard for the health of others amounts to “homicide.”
These campaign events come at a time when Trump is dealing with the fallout from the bombshell reporting on his coronavirus response in Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage.” Woodward reports that during an interview on February 7, Trump told him how “deadly” the COVID-19 coronavirus was — even though, publicly, he was claiming that it didn’t pose a major health threat in the United States. And Bernstein discussed “Rage” and the lack of social distancing at Trump’s events during a Monday night, September 14 appearance on CNN.
“Let’s be very clear what we’re looking at here,” the 76-year-old Bernstein told Anderson Cooper and Dana Bash of CNN. “We are witnessing a homicidal president convening, purposely, a homicidal assembly to help him get reelected as president of the United States instead of protecting the health and welfare of the people of the United States — including his own supporters, whose lives he is willing to sacrifice…. He is unwilling to deal honestly, forthrightly, meaningfully with the gravest domestic crisis in our post-War history in this country.”
While Bernstein spoke, CNN showed images of recent Trump events in which his supporters were packed together and hardly any of them were wearing masks.
Bernstein told Cooper and Bash that Trump “has abdicated his responsibility, and the result is the most grievous felony committed by any president in our history probably. And now, we see it in front of us tonight, this homicidal assembly that the president of the United States has called his supporters to be sacrificial lambs. It’s astonishing.”
Describing Woodward’s reporting in “Rage,” Bernstein went on to say, “(Trump) is demonstrably a pathological liar…. His negligence is what has defined this crisis for us…. Another thing that is in Bob’s book is what the chief public health advisers were telling him to do, he has done the opposite. And he has endangered the lives of millions of Americans, and thousands and thousands are dead because of his negligence and refusal to acknowledge science.”
Bernstein knows Woodward quite well: in the 1970s, the two of them were famous for their historic reporting on the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post. Their 1974 book “All the President’s Men” became the basis for a Hollywood movie that used the same title two years later; Robert Redford played Woodward, while Dustin Hoffman played Bernstein.
Trump responded to Bernstein’s September 14 comments when he appeared on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday morning, September 15 and told hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade that he considered the journalist/author “a nut job.” And Trump said of Bernstein and Woodward, “I don’t have a lot of respect for either of them, frankly.”
However, Trump agreed to a series of interviews with Woodward that were conducted from December 2019-July 2020, and those interviews became, in part, the basis for “Rage.”
Watch the video of Bernstein's CNN appearance below: