McCaskill: When Peter Navarro Criticizes CDC, He’s Saying ‘Trump Sucks’

Monday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” network political commentator former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said White House trade advisor Peter Navarro having said the CDC “let the country down with the testing” was akin to saying President Donald Trump “sucks.”

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said, “Early on in this crisis, the CDC, which really had the most trusted brand around the world in this space, really let the country down with the testing. Because not only did they keep the testing within the bureaucracy, they had a bad test. And that did set us back.”

McCaskill said, “Navarro clearly was green-lighted by the White House to go after the CDC, and then, Azar comes on and tried to defend the CDC. What you have at a moment of crisis, you have a desperate need for everyone to work together. Especially all of those people who have responsibility. So the notion that the White House green-lighted Navarro to go on a Sunday show and try to take down both HHS and the CDC in the middle of a health pandemic that’s killing Americans, it is stunning incompetence. You just wonder, who is strategizing this? Who thinks this is a good idea?”

Host Nicolle Wallace said, “I mean, Claire, do you really wonder that? Who strategizes everything? Donald Trump sits there with the clicker in his pajamas and his iPhone. I mean, who strategizes anything?”

McCaskill said, “I think, you know, I think he’s so ill-equipped and I’m being kind here for this job. He doesn’t understand that how well he leads the people who work for him matters. I mean, that matters how well he leads them. He thinks it’s okay to let them all fight with each other. He thinks that is somehow shows who’s strong and who isn’t. What it is showing America is that they can’t get their act together. I mean, the CDC is Donald Trump. It’s his! It’s his! He owns the CDC. The guy who runs it is his appointee. Who, by the way, couldn’t get the job under Bush because they vetted him and said we don’t want him.”

Wallace said, “Claire, you just hit the nail on the proverbial head here. He’s not going to be judged in November on how many of his own executive branch officials he had fired and smeared on “Fox and Friends.” He’s going to be judged on how well he took control and helmed the CDC when the test was not up to par and redirected HHS when it first it wasn’t doing everything it needed to do and took control of the WHO and demanded more transparency from China and got on the phone with the European leaders and said let ban together. He’s not going to be judged on how well he acted like he was still a buffoon on reality TV show and fired people that worked for him. This is his team. He will sink or die politically based on how well he runs the pandemic response team. Do you think anyone has explained that to him, Claire?”

McCaskill said, “I don’t think he gets that part. When Peter Navarro goes on TV and criticizes the CDC, it is just as if Peter Navarro stood and looked at the camera and said, You know Trump sucks. It’s the same thing. The CDC is Trump. HHS is Trump. Azar is Trump. You know, Seema Verma is Trump. They’re all Trump. And by the way, the CDC was working at the WHO during the period in question, they had dozens of people embedded in the WHO so why weren’t they exposing China’s lies. It is really is just a comedy of errors. It’s worse than a circling firing squad because people are dying.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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