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Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out'

Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill House unveils antitrust package to rein in tech giants Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' MORE (D-Minn.) this week claimed that President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE is “trying to burn this country down on his way out” of office by not supporting the new coronavirus stimulus and government funding bill passed by Congress on Monday. 

In an appearance on Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowDemocratic group launches seven-figure ad campaign on voting rights bill GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message Fauci hits back at GOP criticism over emails: 'It's all nonsense' MORE’s MSNBC show Tuesday night, Klobuchar responded to the president’s remarks shared on Twitter earlier in the day, in which he called the $2.3 trillion package that includes stimulus checks of $600 to Americans “a disgrace,” adding that the payments should be increased to $2,000. 

The Minnesota senator and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate told Maddow that Trump’s failure to support the bill “is an attack on every American.” 

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“People who are struggling to get by right now, out of work, whose unemployment, the unemployment is going to basically end the day after Christmas if this doesn’t pass, people who are out of work, people who need the help,” she added. 

Klobuchar then pointed out that the bill includes guidelines and funding for vaccine distribution, adding, “we need the help for the states to get the vaccines out and he is literally undermining our entire effort on testing and vaccine distribution.”

“This was a hard fought negotiation,” the Democratic congresswoman continued. “Democrats were pushing for more funds for the individual payments, but in the end, this was a negotiation, and he knows very well we’re reaching the end here with unemployment ... our small businesses can’t take it anymore.

“But he should not be doing this right now when his own treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, was involved in the negotiations from the beginning to end,” she added. “He is literally trying to burn this country down on his way out.”

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While Trump signaled his distaste with the legislation, he has not officially said if he will veto the coronavirus relief and government funding package once it reaches the White House.

In an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday morning, Klobuchar delivered similar rebukes at the president in response to his wave of pardons Tuesday evening. 

Trump on Tuesday granted clemency to three former Republican congressmen as well as two individuals charged as part of former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s investigation, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE and Alex van der ZwaanAlex van der ZwaanPardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' CNN's John Berman on Trump pardons: 'Good night to be a corrupt Republican congressman' MORE.

Trump also gave full pardons to four former Blackwater security contractors who had been convicted over their roles in the 2007 killings of 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard had been given sentences ranging from 12 years to life in prison for the massacre.

Blackwater was founded by Erik Prince, one of Trump's allies and the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosErik Prince involved in push for experimental COVID-19 vaccine: report Biden administration reverses Trump-era policy that hampered probes of student loan companies DeVos ordered to testify in student loan forgiveness lawsuit MORE.

Klobuchar told CNN’s John Berman Wednesday that the majority of Trump’s pardons were “somehow related to Donald Trump’s interests or to his own political interest.”

“When you look through all of them, what ties them together is corruption,” she said, adding that Trump is using his presidential power to grant clemency as a way to "help out his buddies.”

“He’s literally burning down the house of justice as he walks out the door,” Klobuchar continued. “All the work of law enforcement, of FBI, of prosecutors … who worked so hard to take on white-collar criminals, he’s basically telling them, ‘No,’ demeaning their work, and that’s why we need a new president and we’re going to get it very soon in Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden prepares to confront Putin Ukrainian president thanks G-7 nations for statement of support Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE.”