In the wake of Trump's first indoor rally in months in Henderson, Nevada on Sunday, attended by upwards of an estimated 5,000 people, legendary journalist Carl Bernstein couldn't help but speak plainly: He called Trump a "homicidal president."
And Trump responded exactly as expected. During an appearance on Fox News's Fox and Friends, rumored to be one of Trump's favorite shows, he questioned Bernstein's sanity and called him "a total nut job."
Trump calls Carl Bernstein "total nut job" after veteran reporter's 'homicidal president' remark… https://t.co/YjCzDfm4Dr— The Hill (@The Hill) 1600186745.0
In his extremely Trumpian clapback, the President accused Bernstein not only of being insane, but being an unfair and dishonest journalist.
"I know Carl Bernstein a little bit, he's a nut job. He's been a nut job for many years... He'll say anything. No matter what you did. Like today, I'm doing a great deal with Israel. No matter what you do, with some of the fake news, it doesn't make any difference."
Bernstein has won two Pulitzers for his work as a journalist, the first for his collaboration with Bob Woodward in exposing Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal in the 1970s, which led to Nixon's impeachment and resignation. Trump made sure to include Woodward in his take down too, saying obliquely:
"I don't have a lot of respect for either of them, frankly."
Woodward has been a fixation of the President's since he revealed last week taped conversations with the President in which he admitted to downplaying the pandemic and lying to the American people about it.
Bernstein's comments about the President came in reference to his Nevada rally, his first held indoors since June's disastrous Tulsa event, which resulted in a spike in virus cases in Oklahoma and, some believe, led to the death of the virus of GOP operative Herman Cain.
The Nevada rally was held in contravention of state and local ordinances, and it was reported that most attendees were unmasked and no efforts toward social distancing were made.
Speaking to CNN's Anderson Cooper, Bernstein said Trump is clearly "willing to sacrifice" his supporter's lives.
"...[W]e are witnessing a homicidal president convening, purposefully, a homicidal assembly to help him get reelected as President of the United States..."
Bernstein also pointed out the hypocrisy of Trump's willingness to endanger his followers.
"Here is this president, who staked part of his presidency on the right to life particularly of the unborn, and every day he has sacrificed the lives of thousands of Americans because he is unwilling to deal honestly, forthrightly, meaningfully with the gravest domestic crisis in our post-war history in this country."
He also accused the Trump of "abdicating his responsibility" as President.
"...the result is the most grievous felony committed by any president in our history, probably...the President of the United States has called his supporters to be sacrificial lambs. It's astonishing."
On Twitter, many people found Trump's criticism a classic case of projection.
@thehill Yet again, in fine Trump Tradition, he accuses others of what HE is GUILTY......lol...— Dan Wiener (@Dan Wiener) 1600179409.0
@thehill Nut job calling another person a nut job... Only in America lol— Giants (@Giants) 1600179274.0
@thehill If Bernstein was a "nut job" why did Trump talk to him 18 times? https://t.co/Qln28HPw3D— carlwinfield (@carlwinfield) 1600186824.0
Here's one nut job (trump), telling a certified nut job (Doocy), that someone else who isn't (Bernstein) is a nut j… https://t.co/vE5lHl8UGG— James Gow (@James Gow) 1600182579.0
And many thought Bernstein's castigation of the President was right on target.
@joncoopertweets No problem for the spreader in chief ! 😒 https://t.co/Qy21Jpuzwk— vioulpw44 (@vioulpw44) 1600171247.0
@thehill Referred to his rally as a "homicidal assembly". I like it and I'm going to use it. I wonder why people d… https://t.co/QkwyQQRoO6— Happy Canadian (@Happy Canadian) 1600187102.0
It's my pleasure to make sure everyone sees this.“This thing is a killer if it gets you. If you’re the wrong person… https://t.co/MB1tkacpYg— jude baker a white woman democrat vote blue (@jude baker a white woman democrat vote blue) 1600169643.0
@AC360 been saying it since feb, he’s jim jonesing them https://t.co/WiEqlBZeKC— SuSk (@SuSk) 1600130171.0
For all the controversy, the Trump campaign seems undeterred: According to his campaign website, Trump's next rally is in Wisconsin on Thursday.