Trump confessed on tape that he downplayed the virus even though he knew it was deadlier than the flu.
Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein on Wednesday said the recordings of Donald Trump admitting that he downplayed the viral outbreak are "the smoking gun of his negligence."
"Instead of leveling with the country, he covers up," Bernstein told CNN, adding, "This is one of the great presidential felonies of all time, maybe the greatest felony, and we have the smoking gun tape of the president committing the felony."
Along with Bob Woodward, Bernstein broke the story of the Watergate break-in and resulting cover-up by President Richard Nixon and his administration.
As part of a series of interviews for Woodward's new book, Trump told the reporter in February, while speaking about the coronavirus outbreak, "I wanted to always play it down."
Trump also said he always knew the virus was deadlier than the flu, but he later made several public comments that the virus was similar to the flu.
From the Sept. 9 edition of "CNN Newsroom":
CARL BERNSTEIN: It's stunning, and I think we all need to take a deep breath and understand exactly what it is we have learned.
We are listening to the president of the United States, on tape, deliberately undermining the security — the national security of the United States — the health and well-being of the people of the United States, and he's doing this knowingly, in real-time, it is the smoking gun of his negligence.
As those quotes you were talking about from Mattis and others, demonstrating his unfitness to be the president. But more than anything, instead of leveling with the country, he covers up.
We listened to him cover up this grave national emergency. This is one of the great presidential felonies of all time, maybe the greatest felony, and we have the smoking gun tape of the president committing the felony.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.