'Their craven public silence has helped enable Trump's most grievous conduct,' journalist Carl Bernstein said.
Reporter Carl Bernstein tweeted on Sunday that 21 Senate Republicans have privately expressed strong opposition to Donald Trump.
Bernstein, famous for his reporting on the Watergate scandal that brought down the Richard Nixon presidency, noted that the 21 senators had maintained silence about their views in public.
They have also voted with Trump at almost every opportunity.
"I'm not violating any pledge of journalistic confidentially in reporting this: 21 Republican Sens–in convos w/ colleagues, staff members, lobbyists, W. House aides–have repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump & his fitness to be POTUS," Bernstein wrote. "With few exceptions, their craven public silence has helped enable Trump's most grievous conduct—including undermining and discrediting the US the electoral system."
The GOP senators Bernstein, currently an analyst for CNN, said "privately expressed their disdain for Trump" are Lamar Alexander (TN), Roy Blunt (MO), Mike Braun (IN), Richard Burr (NC), Susan Collins (ME), John Cornyn (TX), Chuck Grassley (IA), Martha McSally (AZ), Jerry Moran (KS), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Rob Portman (OH), Pat Roberts (KS), Mitt Romney (UT), Marco Rubio (FL), Ben Sasse (NE), Rick Scott (FL), Tim Scott (SC), Richard Shelby (AL), John Thune (SD), Pat Toomey (PA), and Todd Young (IN).
The American Independent Foundation reached out to the offices of each of the named senators for comment.
In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Braun denied the report. "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."
A spokesperson for Grassley also dismissed Bernstein's reporting, emailing a statement saying that his "sources clearly aren't what they used to be. 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."
Portman's spokesperson responded: "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 re-election and believes his policies are better for Ohio and the entire country."
The others did not immediately respond.
A review of their voting records reveals that even if they were privately disdainful of Trump and his presidency, they enabled much of it.
Only a handful of the senators have acknowledged that Joe Biden is the president-elect, while others have refused to criticize Trump's attempts to sow doubt about the integrity of America's election processes.
According to an analysis of data compiled by the website FiveThirtyEight, the senators voted with Trump an average of more than 89% of the time during his term in office.
With the exception of Romney, each voted to acquit Trump on all charges during his impeachment trial on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The majority of the senators also voted against blocking Trump's scheme to take billions from military funding to pay for his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a wall he had repeatedly promised would be paid for entirely by Mexico.
All or most also backed Trump's 2017 bill to slash rates for the very rich and big corporations, his failed plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, and his three lifetime appointments of judges to the Supreme Court.
Updated with a response from Sen. Ron Portman's office.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.