High-ranking Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who has historically been hesitant to criticize the current White House, had some harsh feedback for President Trump in an interview published Monday as coronavirus continues to spread on Capitol Hill.
“I think it’s a lesson to all of us that we need to exercise self discipline,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle.
Cornyn also said Trump “let his guard down” regarding the coronavirus pandemic and criticized the president for stirring “confusion.”
“I think the biggest mistake people make in public life is not telling the truth, particularly in something with as much public interest as here because you know the real story is going to come out,” the senator explained.
Cornyn’s comments come as panic unfolds at the Capitol, where over a dozen people in Trump’s orbit, including Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany as of Monday, have tested positive for Covid-19.
Cornyn himself may have been exposed to the virus as last week he attended hearings where Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who has since tested positive for the virus, was present.
The Trump administration has been criticized for a lack of clarity on the timeline of White House-related infections, as well as mixed signals on the condition of the president, who is currently hospitalized but may be released late Monday.
“I think he let his guard down, and I think in his desire to try to demonstrate that we are somehow coming out of this and that the danger is not still with us—I think he got over his skis and frankly, I think it’s a lesson to all of us that we need to exercise self discipline,” Cornyn said.
Previously, Cornyn has not been vocal about disagreements with the president and any critiques have remained tepid. In an Oct. 1 interview with Statesman, he defended his neutrality, saying: “It’s really not my job to provide running commentary on the president’s behavior.” Cornyn reiterated to the Houston Chronicle that he believes Trump has been good for the U.S. “on the main.”
“Sen. John Cornyn says Trump ‘let his guard down’ on COVID” (Houston Chronicle)
“We’ve all tried to do our best’: Cornyn defends Trump’s COVID-19 response after president tests positive for virus” (Dallas Morning News)
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