President Trump continued his full-blown smear campaign against Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the White House’s top experts on COVID-19, by airing his usual grievances against him during an interview on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning.
According to a CNN report on Monday, the President told his campaign staffers during a conference call that people are getting “tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots” when it comes to raising alarms over large indoor gatherings, such as his largely mask-free rallies that pose serious risk of spreading COVID-19.
Trump reportedly ripped Fauci during the conference call for being a “disaster” and suggested that “if I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths.”
The President went on to spend more time on Monday throwing punches at Fauci via Twitter as he complained about the nation’s top infectious disease expert getting “more airtime than anybody since the late, great, Bob Hope” with his interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired the night before. Trump also dissed Fauci during a pool spray in Phoenix, Arizona by accusing him of making “a lot of bad calls.”
During an interview on “Fox and Friends” the next day, Trump maintained that he gets along with Fauci “very well” before baselessly accusing the White House coronavirus task force member of being a Democrat who’s friends with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
“He’s a Democrat. He’s actually a very good friend of the Cuomo family. But he’s been there for a long time, I leave him there, and he’s a nice guy.But he’s been wrong,” Trump said, repeating a familiar line. Fauci told CNN earlier this month that he has never publicly endorsed any political candidate during his nearly five decades of public service.
Trump then referenced an imaginary quote of Fauci rejecting mask-wearing, repeating a tactic that he used during a campaign rally in North Carolina last week
“First of all, he said don’t wear masks. I’m sure you have that clip,” Trump said. “He said many things. He said let the people from China that are heavily infected, let them come in. He admits that he was wrong, and he admits that I saved thousands of lives.”
The President griped that reporters are drawn to Fauci “because they think he’s against me” despite how “he’s not really against me” before going onto complaining about Fauci’s interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday night.
“But he did say something that we kept him off television, and yet we allowed him to do ’60 Minutes’ the other night,” Trump said. “He couldn’t do it without our approval. So how do we keep him off but, by the way, do ’60 Minutes’?”
Trump once again mocked the doctor’s poor baseball pitching skills, referring to Fauci’s first pitch at a Washington Nationals game in July, before arguing that Fauci is “a little bit sometimes not a team player.”
After saying that it’s “just fine” for Fauci to be a Democrat, Trump praised his favorite contrarian doctor, Scott Atlas, who fellow White House coronavirus task force members Dr. Deborah Birx and CDC Director Robert Redfield have raised concerns about as the country tops more than 215,000 COVID-19 fatalities thus far.
“Scott Atlas is fantastic, but they go after him so much,” Trump said, referring to the media. “He has a different view. By the way, everybody has a different view. Doesn’t mean they’re wrong or they’re bad people, but people have different views.”
Trump continued rambling about how the country is “doing much better than everyone else” on COVID-19 before being asked whether he’s at odds with Fauci.
“No, I’m not at odds,” Trump said. “I like him, he’s a terrific guy.”
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
Trump claims he gets along with Fauci "very well" amid smear campaign against him pic.twitter.com/tNLEEfVbgu
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 20, 2020