Trump 'doesn't believe in science,' incapable of empathy: Rep. Karen Bass

Bass is thought to be on Joe Biden’s running mate short list.

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., told ABC's "The View" on Wednesday that President Donald Trump is using events from the White House, including Tuesday's coronavirus briefing, for "adulation" as he ramps up efforts ahead of the election in November.

During the president's Tuesday coronavirus briefing, he maintained that he thought the virus would "disappear," although he did acknowledge that he thought the virus would get worse before it gets better. He said he felt wearing a mask was "patriotic" -- though he's only been pictured wearing a mask once.

Bass said she thinks the president "fundamentally doesn't believe in science."

"We already know he fundamentally doesn’t believe in science, but also that he can’t survive without adulation. He won’t get it from a briefing, but he will when it is repeated on a particular TV network and when they lavish on the praise," Bass, who is one of the women thought to be on former vice president Joe Biden’s running mate short list, said.

"142,000 people have died… those were families, and the idea that he doesn’t seem to be capable of empathy, he has never even made reference to the people and he also has been willing to subject his supporters to danger as well by wanting to hold rallies," she added.

The United States has become the country worst-affected by coronavirus, with more than 3.9 million diagnosed cases and at least 142,350 deaths.

"The View" co-host Joy Behar also asked Bass about the expansion of deployment to federal law enforcement officials, namely in Portland, Oregon, during protests following the death of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis police custody in May.

"You know Trump deployed federal troops to Portland the other day, Oregon, to control Black Lives Matter protesters, and just this week he threatened to send troops to other cities like Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Oakland," Behar said. "How do you feel about that, and how can we stop him from continuously sending these troops into our cities for only disrupting it even further?"

Bass said the president wants to be an authoritarian leader -- and should he fail to accept the results of the election in November, she has confidence he would be removed from the White House.

"Well, the problem that we have is that he's a lawless president," Bass said. "He clearly wants to be an authoritarian leader, but think when it comes to the results of the election, he can try not to leave, but our system doesn't work that way. If he needs to be evicted, I have full confidence he would be removed from that Oval Office."

Trump recently said during an interview on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace that he cannot say that he will accept the results of the general election.

"I have to see. Look ... I have to see," he said. "No, I’m not going to just say 'yes.' I’m not going to say 'no,' and I didn’t last time, either."

Co-host Meghan McCain raised to Bass the speculation that she is being vetted as the vice presidential pick be on the ticket with Biden in November, asking if there was any truth to those rumors. Bass sidestepped an answer, deferring to the campaign, but said she would do everything to get Biden elected.

"Just let me tell you that I am so concerned about the way this country has been torn apart over the last three-and-a-half years, and we need to heal this country. Because I am worried that when President Biden is sworn in in January -- and I don't want to take it for granted, but we're going to do everything to get him elected -- that we could be facing not only a depression, but how many more people have to die?" she said.

In an interview with MSNBC host Joy Reid, Biden said earlier this week that there are four Black women on his vice presidential shortlist. Co-host Sunny Hostin asked Bass if she thought it important to see a Black woman on the ticket, considering the unwavering support they have given the Democratic party throughout the country’s political history.

"I mean, I would love to see that. I heard that too about the four women. I would love to see that, but, you know, at the end of the day, who knows better who to choose to be the vice president than a former vice president? And I'm hoping that whoever he picks, that they have a relationship together like we saw with Obama/Biden," she said, pointing to the close relationship the two had which she felt brought something valuable to the Oval Office.

Bass, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, also said legislation to pass policing reform is at a crossroads between Republicans in the Senate and Democrats across both chambers.

"Well, most definitely we need the Senate to act, and, you know, that is one of 200 bills that is sitting on Mitch Mcconnell's desk that is an actual a bipartisan bill," she said. "Conversations are going on with Republicans. I'll tell you. I won't stop talking to people. I don't care who it is, but mainly talking to my Republican colleagues to see if there's something that we can do."