Sen. John Kennedy: Trump ‘Grows Anxious When He Has an Unexpressed Thought’

Melanie Arter | September 10, 2020 | 2:09pm EDT
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Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.)  (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Thursday that President Donald Trump gets “anxious when he has an unexpressed thought,” which is a dangerous trait to have as a politician when talking to a reporter.

Speaking to Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” Kennedy was asked to weigh in on the media’s handling of reports that Bob Woodward in his new book claims in February, the president called COVID-19 “deadly stuff,” acknowledged that it was more deadly than the flu, but chose to downplay it to the public.

President Donald Trump’s portrayal in Bob Woodward’s book as it pertains to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would make three points. Number one, when I feel inadequate in Washington D.C., I just look around. There are a lot of people up here that see life as a zero sum game. In other words, to advance they've got to tear somebody down. I guess the point I'm trying to make is these gotcha books don't interest me a lot. There will be a new one out tomorrow anyway,” Kennedy said.

“Number two. We know the president pretty well by now. It's clear to me, at least, that he grows anxious when he has an unexpressed thought. Now, that may be an endearing quality for a human being, but it's very dangerous when you're a politician talking to a reporter,” he added.

The senator said his state, and in particular, New Orleans was slammed early by with the coronavirus, but they got everything they needed “and then some.”

Kennedy said if he were president and could talk to anyone, it wouldn’t be Woodward, it would be “somebody cool.”

“Well if I were president of the United States, and I could talk to anybody I wanted to for nine hours, no offense to Mr. Woodward, but he wouldn't make the top 10 list. I'd pick the Dalai Lama or Meatloaf or Quentin Tarantino or somebody cool, not that he's uncool, but you get my point,” he said. 

In Trump’s defense, the president said, he was trying not cause panic by downplaying the coronavirus, but host Steve Doocy pointed out that Trump critics say the president tries to panic people daily by talking about what would happen if former Vice President Joe Biden is elected.

“It's like kind of a mixed message there isn't it?” Doocy asked.

“Yes, and look, this is the election season and from now until Election Day, you're going to have a lot of so-called experts come forward and say, if the president had done this, it would have saved this number of lives. We’ve heard from a lot of experts about the coronavirus - tthe experts at Imperial College, the experts at University of Washington,” Kennedy said.

“Those predictors, well how can I put it? They make those late night psychic hotlines you see on TV look reputable. So, you've got to ignore all of the experts right now ... making predictions. We'll have time when this is over to look back and say we did this right, we did this wrong, but I don't think it's really productive to do that right now. We got to get people back to work, and get the virus stopped in its tracks,” he said.

On the slimmed down coronavirus relief package that the Senate is set to vote on, Kennedy said he thinks most Republicans in the Senate will vote to approve it, but he doesn’t know about the Democrats. He said he plans to vote for it, but he’s concerned about the price.

“I think if Senator Schumer would release his people, you would have enough Democrats vote for it. I'm going to vote for the bill, Ainsley. The price concerns me. If we keep spending money at the rate we're spending it, we're going to run out of digits. Having said that, government did this to business. Government did this to people. Government shut them down, and they need help, and I want to try to help them, and that's why I'm likely to vote for the bill,” he said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) predicted that former Vice President Joe Biden will win and be a great president and that Democrats will retain the majority in the House and win back the Senate. 

Asked to respond to her predictions, Kennedy said, “Well, how can I put this? I've said this before. Speaker Pelosi is very well versed in the stuff she makes up. She's very good at it. It's going to be a close election, Brian. It just is, and I'm going to trust the American people on this.”

“Doesn't she have to say that though? They're not going to come out and say no, he's not going to win,” host Ainsley Earnhardt said.

“Yeah, neither she nor Chuck Schumer are going to stand up and say, ‘Geez, we're going to get the living hell beat out of us here if we don't pass a bill and start acting like responsible adults.’ She's not going to say that,” Kennedy said.

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