Apr 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

White House tells Republicans to watch Crenshaw for coronavirus messaging

Rep. Dan Crenshaw. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House and Senate Republicans received an email from the White House Office of Legislative Affairs Monday morning telling them that "the president wanted to make sure that you saw" his tweet of the video of Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) defending the administration's response to the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Trump is looking to set coronavirus messaging for the entire party and is pointing to Crenshaw, a 36-year-old freshman lawmaker, as the model to follow.

Details: The video — which Trump called "BRILLIANT, A MUST WATCH!" — is titled "Debunking the Left's COVID-19 Narrative," and looks to rebut criticisms by Democrats and certain elements of the media that the president was too slow to respond to the pandemic.

  • "You need to hear this," Crenshaw says. "Because you're being bombarded right now with these really over-the-top accusations against the president."
  • Crenshaw points to Trump's restrictions on travel from China and Europe, the FDA's deregulation of coronavirus tests, and the lack of warnings from Democrats and the media in January and February as reasons that the criticisms are unfair.
  • "Listen, I don't want to blame Democrats for this at all," Crenshaw says. "I don't think we should. I don't think there's a lot of people to blame for this, except China of course. It would be time for all of us to give each other little bit of grace."

Go deeper: Read the New York Times' investigation into Trump's early delays and failures on the coronavirus

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