Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein tweeted claims of 21 Senate Republicans who are never Trump behind closed doors, but some of them have come out to deny the claims, as Mediaite and the Washington Examiner reported Monday.
Never Trumpers are Republicans who vow not to support him within their party, and Bernstein outed 21 names of those who are harboring "extreme contempt for Trump & his fitness to be POTUS."
"This is more false news from a CNN political analyst, as I was one of President Trump's top defenders during impeachment and strongly support his legal efforts to ensure that every legal vote is counted," Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said in a statement to Mediaite.
Berstein's list included Braun and some obvious never-Trumpers such as Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
"From the day I stood beside President Trump as he was sworn in as president, he and I have had a good relationship," Blunt told Mediaite in a statement. "He has worked effectively with the Senate to enact significant accomplishments as president."
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., was a surprising name on the list, but his spokesman Chris Hartline rebuked the claim, too.
"This is dumb and doesn't warrant a real response," Hartline wrote in a statement to the Examiner. "Needless to say, Carl Bernstein has no idea what he's talking about."
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, was on the list, too, but his spokesman rejected the claim and mocked Bernstein for being past his prime as a reputable journalist.
"Mr. Bernstein's sources clearly aren't what they used to be," the spokesman told the Examiner. "This simply isn't true. Sen. Grassley has been a strong supporter of the president and, at the same time, has made it no secret when he disagrees with the president.
"There is no difference between what Sen. Grassley says publicly and privately. Washington journalists might be wise to reconsider trafficking in baseless second- and third-hand rumor. It may restore some lost credibility."
Among the others on the Bernstein's never Trump list:
- Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
- Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.
- Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.
- Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
- Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
- Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.
- Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind.
- Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
- Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
- Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
- Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz.
- Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.
- Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
- Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
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