A number of Republican senators said they support President Donald Trump after a reporter claimed they expressed contempt for the commander-in-chief in private.
Carl Bernstein of CNN claimed on Twitter that 21 Republican senators privately expressed disdain for Trump. He said the senators made the expressions during conversations with colleagues, staff members, lobbyists, and White House aides.
But senators pushed back, saying Bernstein was making things up.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) added in a tweet: “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. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said in a statement to news outlets: “From the day I stood beside President Trump as he was sworn in as president, he and I have had a good relationship. He has worked effectively with the Senate to enact significant accomplishments as president.”
Spokespersons for Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told the Washington Examiner that the report was false.
“This is absolutely false. The senator has never talked to Mr. Bernstein, and we don’t know where he’s getting his false information. The senator supported President Trump’s reelection and believes his policies are better for Ohio and the entire country,” said Emily Benavides, a spokeswoman for Portman.
Requests for comment sent to the offices of the other 15 senators were not returned.
Among them were known Trump critics: Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.).
The others named were Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).