Republicans are freely trashing Donald Trump behind closed doors, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough claims. In public, however, it’s a very different story.
The former Republican Congressman turned cable news host and frequent critic of Donald Trump said on Monday that GOP leaders have not been shy with sharing their true feelings about Trump off the record. As The Hill noted, Scarborough made the claim on an episode of Morning Joe, responding to a speech over the weekend from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said that Trump’s presidency has been the best period for conservatives during his entire time in Washington.
Scarborough thought that even McConnell doesn’t believe that’s true, but needed to say it publicly so he wouldn’t anger Donald Trump.
“What also is so maddening is that [Republican leaders] are scared to death to say anything negative about Donald Trump publicly, but privately they all trash him,” Scarborough said. “And Mitch McConnell, like, Mitch McConnell, the audacity to say that in front of this faith and freedom group when Mitch McConnell doesn’t believe that. Nobody on Capitol Hill thinks he believes that.”
Scarborough added that Trump’s tax reform bill also goes against many conservative values by adding massive amounts to the federal deficit, yet none of the fiscal conservatives have spoken out.
There have been a small number of Republican leaders who vocally oppose Donald Trump on a number of issues, including Senator John McCain. Trump frequently took aim at McCain during his run for president, and the two have come into conflict frequently during Trump’s 16 months in office.
This weekend, McCain called out Trump after the president clashed with allies at the G7 summit and refused to sign onto a joint statement about trade tariffs. He also criticized Trump for pushing to have Russia reinstated in the group after being kicked out for annexing the Crimea region, and reiterated to allies that not all Americans or American leaders agree with Donald Trump on these issues.
“To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t,” McCain tweeted.
Republican leaders are not the only ones trashing Donald Trump behind closed doors. Earlier this year, reports indicated that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has called Trump an “idiot.” As CNN noted, Kelly denied using those words to describe the president.