President Donald Trump privately supported closing down the economy as a response to the coronavirus, son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said in a newly-released taped interview with Bob Woodward, but wanted the credit when it reopened.
Woodward shared the audio for the first time Wednesday on CNN. Kushner stated in the tape:
So with testing now, what he’s been saying to us is, don’t fall into the same trap that we fell into the first time. The states have to own the testing, the federal testing. And the federal government should not own the testing, the federal government should not own, kind of, the rules. It’s got to be up to the governors, because that’s the way the federalist system works. But the president is also very smart politically with the way he did that fight with the governors to say ‘No, no, no, I own the opening.’ Because, again, the opening is going to be very popular. People want this country open. But if it opens in the wrong way, the question will be, did the governors follow the guidelines we set out or no?
Kushner made the comments Woodward on April 18, just weeks after most states had shuttered nonessential business.
Trump spent much of the year calling on governors — especially Democratic governors — to reopen certain segments of the country, particularly businesses and schools, but took few federal measures to compel such action or crack down on Republican governors who ignored the White House’s phased guidelines.
Watch above via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]