As the death toll from coronavirus continues to soar in the United States, President Donald Trump is being lambasted by a variety of Democrats, liberals, progressives, centrists and Never Trump conservatives over the weeks he spent carelessly downplaying the severity of COVID-19. And in Politico, reporter Alex Isenstadt describes a recent conflict with the GOP over how Republican candidates should or shouldn't defend Trump's record on coronavirus.
"Earlier this month," Isenstadt explains, "the Senate Republican campaign arm circulated a memo with shocking advice to GOP candidates on responding to coronavirus: 'don't defend Trump, other than the China travel ban — attack China.'"On Monday, April 27, according to Isenstadt, Trump campaign adviser Justin Clark expressed his "displeasure" to Kevin McLaughlin, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) — angrily telling McLaughlin that any Republican candidate who followed the advice of the memo should not expect the campaign's support.
McLaughlin, Isenstadt reports, "responded by saying he agreed with the Trump campaign's position and — according to two people familiar with the conversation — clarified that the committee wasn't advising candidates to not defend Trump over his response." According to Isenstadt, McLaughlin stressed to Clark that the memo wasn't saying that Trump shouldn't be defended on coronavirus but rather, was offering advice on how he should be defended.
In an official statement and an attempt at damage control, McLaughlin asserted, "There is no daylight between the NRSC and President Trump. Senate Republicans have worked hand in glove with the Trump Administration to ensure a highly effective federal response to COVID-19."