- Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana says he is not interested in any “gotcha” books, including Bob Woodward’s latest, which revealed President Donald Trump consistently claimed the coronavirus was no worse than the flu when he knew otherwise.
- In an interview with CNN, published on Wednesday, Pamela Brown asked Kennedy if Trump’s actions were acceptable, or misleading to the public.
- Kennedy responded three times, saying: “These gotcha books” didn’t interest him. He also said another one would be “out tomorrow.”
- When Kennedy was pressed on the fact Trump told Woodward the coronavirus traveled through the air, he said: “To be is to act,” and he said that he didn’t judge officials in Washington “by what they say,” according to the Independent.
- Kennedy wasn’t alone in his refusal to condemn Trump.
- According to CNBC, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he hadn’t looked at the book yet, so he couldn’t answer any questions about it, and told reporters to direct their questions to the White House.
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Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana says he is not interested in any "gotcha" books, including investigative journalist Bob Woodward's latest, which revealed President Donald Trump knew the coronavirus was deadly back in February, though he consistently claimed the coronavirus was no worse than the flu.
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Pamela Brown asked Kennedy if Trump's actions were acceptable, or misleading to the public.
Kennedy responded by saying: "These gotcha books don't really interest me that much."
When Brown said Trump was on the record, Kennedy said again: "These gotcha books don't really interest me that much. There will be a new one out tomorrow."
Brown said this book was different, since it was based on Trump's 18 interviews with Woodward.
Kennedy stuck to his response: "Let me answer you again. These gotcha books don't really interest me. There will be a new one out tomorrow."
—Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) September 9, 2020
When Kennedy was pressed on the fact Trump confirmed to Woodward that he knew the coronavirus traveled through air, he said: "To be is to act," and he said he didn't judge officials in Washington "by what they say," according to the Independent.
Kennedy wasn't the only GOP member who refused to condemn Trump.
According to CNBC, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he hadn't looked at the book yet, so he couldn't answer any questions about it, and told reporters to direct their questions to the White House.
Kennedy has shown his support for Trump before.
In 2019, when Democrats were trying to get the IRS to release Trump's tax returns, he told CNN's Jake Tapper: "The American people have chosen Donald Trump as president. If you don't like it, in two years, you can vote against him. In the meantime, don't screw with him, let him try to be president."
Woodward's latest book on Trump, titled "Rage," was based on 18 on-the-record interviews between December and July, and is filled with a number of bombshell revelations.
One in particular came on February 7, when Trump was recorded saying the coronavirus was "more deadly than even your strenuous flus" and that people could contract the virus "just by breathing in air."
In public, in the weeks that followed, Trump consistently said the coronavirus was no worse than the flu.
Since excerpts of Woodward's book have been released, Trump has admitted to minimizing the coronavirus' potential damage, because he said he did not want to "show panic."
He said: "And I was very open — whether it's to Woodward or anybody else...you cannot show a sense of panic or you're going to have bigger problems than you ever had before."
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