Fox News contributor Karl Rove on Wednesday tried to put the best spin possible on audio tapes that proved President Donald Trump lied to the American people about the coronavirus pandemic.
In an appearance on Fox News, Rove reacted to the tapes from veteran journalist Bob Woodward, in which Trump speaks about the pandemic and says he “wanted to always play it down.”
“The American people didn’t have a shot at getting the real truth,” Fox News host Harris Faulkner told Rove. “We weren’t going to get it from the W.H.O., we weren’t going to get it from China, and it looks like we got some sort of watered-down version of it from President Trump.”
“Well, that’s one way of looking at it,” Rove replied dismissively. “Maybe you can make the argument that he should have said masks and social distancing earlier as a result of that, particularly if he knew that it was aerosol borne.”
“But again, we expect perfection from people in places where perfection is not possible,” the former White House strategist added. “And in dealing with pandemics is a place in particular where the unknowns are large and difficult to deal with.”
Rove argued that Trump “could have sparked a panic” if he revealed the true nature of COVID-19.
“Any president in dealing with a situation like this is going to look back and say, ‘There are things I would have done differently,’ but when it gets injected into a partisan environment like we are in the last 55 days of a presidential election, I think a lot of this is going to be partisan screaming and shouting,” he opined. “These are not easy situations to deal with and to require perfection of anybody in this — whether it’s Joe Biden or Donald Trump — I think is unfair.”