After Woodward's Sneezegate revelation, Trump calls Carl Bernstein a total 'nut job'

76-year-old Bernstein said: 'You’re witnessing a homicidal president convening, purposefully, a homicidal assembly to help him get reelected...'

                            After Woodward's Sneezegate revelation, Trump calls Carl Bernstein a total 'nut job'
Trump, Carl Bernstein (Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has found the coronavirus pandemic a tough challenge over the last few months even as he tried to put on a brave face. He has boasted by calling himself a wartime president who did his best in protecting his country against the virus that has affected more than 6.6 million people and killed nearly 200,000. But the latest tape from Watergate journalist Bob Woodward has revealed that the president was actually less than brave when facing the pandemic.

The tape showed Trump confessing to 'bailing out' of his Oval Office meeting after somebody sneezed and he did it the same day he pushed the states to reopen the country in April.While Woodward, who came up with the new audio clip on Stephen Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ on Monday, September 14, a day after Trump attended an indoor rally in Nevada and accused him of failing to protect the people of the country, Carl Bernstein, another Watergate reporter, also took on the president. Taking a dig at Trump’s Henderson rally in Nevada, the veteran journalist called Trump a “homicidal president” who was not averse to holding “homicidal assemblies” with his indoor campaign rallies at the time of the pandemic.

The Henderson rally was the poll-bound president’s first indoor rally since the controversial one in Tulsa in June that had a disastrous attendance. Even former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain contracted the virus after attending it and died. In Nevada, the owner of the venue where Trump’s rally was held was fined $3,000 for violating coronavirus prevention norms imposed by the state’s Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak who Trump has accused of targeting his campaign plan. 

‘You are witnessing a homicidal president’

Bernstein, a former Washington Post reporter, also accused Trump of using his supporters as “sacrificial lambs”.  Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, September 15, the 76-year-old Bernstein said: “You’re witnessing a homicidal president convening, purposefully, a homicidal assembly to help him get reelected instead of protecting the health and welfare of the United States, including supporters whose lives he is willing to sacrifice."

"Here is this president, who has staked part of his presidency on the right to life, particularly of the unborn, and every day he has sacrificed the lives of thousands of Americans because he is unwilling to deal honestly, forthrightly, meaningfully, with the greatest domestic crisis in our post-war history in this country. Now we've seen 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.” 



Trump did not overlook Bernstein’s criticism and during a talk with "Fox & Friends" hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade, he called the veteran “a nut job” in response to his “homicidal” accusation. “I know Carl Bernstein a little bit; he’s a nut job. He’s been a nut job for many years,” the president said, adding that he did not respect either of the two journalists who had nailed another Republican president in the 1970s -- Richard Nixon. "I don’t have a lot of respect for either of them, frankly,” he said. “He was a total nut job and I see him. He’ll say anything. No matter what you did. Like today, I’m doing a great deal with Israel. No matter what you do, with some of the fake news, it doesn’t make any difference,” Trump said about Bernstein.

Woodward has made some serious claims in his new book ‘Rage’ including the revelation that Trump downplayed the virus despite knowing its threat because he did not want the people to panic. He told Colbert in a wondering tone whether Trump would have fled had somebody sitting in the front row of his indoor rally in Nevada sneezed. “Last night in Nevada when he was going through that rally, I mean God knows how many people there, all packed together. I wonder if someone sneezed in the front row that Trump would bail out again and get out of the way?” Woodward asked.

Woodward, who called the matter “too serious”, also spoke about a meeting that Trump had with his National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and his deputy Matt Pottinger in January end. The journalist, who mentioned the meeting in his book, said it was “maybe one of the most extraordinary meetings in the Oval Office I reported on for about 50 years”.“And that is when his national security adviser tells him that the virus is going to be the biggest national security threat to your presidency and then the deputy, Matt Pottinger, who had worked in China for seven years for The Wall Street Journal gives specifics about how dangerous this is, how easy it is to be transmitted,” Woodward said.