Reporter Outs 21 GOP Senators Who Privately "Expressed Extreme Contempt" For Trump

Carl Bernstein’s claim comes as many prominent Republicans have called for Trump to accept the results of the 2020 election and concede.

President Donald Trump looks on next to US Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) as he tours damage by Hurricane Michael at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida on May 8, 2019.
President Donald Trump looks on next to US Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) as he tours damage by Hurricane Michael at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida on May 8, 2019.

Journalist Carl Bernstein has listed the names of 21 GOP senators who he says have privately expressed "extreme contempt" for President Donald Trump, as more Republican allies have disavowed the president in recent days over his refusal to accept the election results. The reporter of Watergate scandal fame wrote on Twitter that the senators’ silence “has helped enable Trump’s most grievous conduct.”

On Sunday, Bernstein tweeted, “21 Republican Sens–in convos w/ colleagues, staff members, lobbyists, W. House aides–have repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump & his fitness to be POTUS,” and prefaced that he was “not violating any pledge of journalistic [confidentiality] in reporting this.”

The full list of senators Bernstein 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).

While several members of the list, including Sens. Romney and Murkowski, have publicly blasted Trump to varying degrees, others including Sens. Cornyn, Rubio, and Scott have been some of his most fervent supporters.

“With few exceptions, their craven public silence has helped enable Trump’s most grievous conduct—including undermining and discrediting the [US electoral system]” he continued in the tweet thread.

Bernstein, who is revered for helping to uncover President Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal, accused 15 of the senators by name of secretly disdaining Trump on CNN late last week, saying, “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 also added that he is "much more concerned" now than at the end of the Watergate scandal, because "Nixon left — Republicans convinced him to go, and he did."

Despite president-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, Trump has refused to concede or commit to an amiable transition of power.

Former New Jersey Governor and Trump ally Chris Christie on Sunday called Trump’s legal team’s “a national embarrassment” for continuously attempting to contest election results.

“I have been a supporter of the president's,” Christie said on "This Week" on ABC. “I voted for him twice, but elections have consequences, and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn't happen.”

In a Saturday statement, Sen. Toomey (who was included in Bernstein’s list of Trump detractors) called on the president to accept the election results and commit to transitioning out of the White House. Toomey is expected to retire in 2022.

“President Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania,” he said.

Toomey’s statement came after U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit challenging the election results in Pennsylvania and accusing state officials of enabling voter fraud.

The president’s legal team was also thrown into disarray over the weekend after attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis released a statement distancing the campaign from Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who pushed conspiracy theories about voter fraud.