George Conway: Trump can't accept that the presidency doesn't belong to him

George ConwayGeorge ConwayLack of influence means it's time to dismiss the Lincoln Project Sirota: Lincoln Project election efforts to swing GOP votes from Trump 'epic failure' Raccoon that 'attacked' news crews on White House lawn sparks viral jokes MORE, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration Lara Trump mulling 2022 Senate run in North Carolina: report Press: Where is Jim Baker when we need him? MORE and a frequent critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE, argued in The Washington Post that Trump can't accept that he doesn’t own the presidency like a business. 

“When he ran a private company, one he owned, Trump could command all its constituent parts to do his bidding and make the rules himself,” Conway wrote in an op-ed. “You’d think by his fourth year in the White House, he would have learned that the presidency doesn’t work that way. But obviously he hasn’t.”

Trump on Monday sparked controversy when he claimed he has “ultimate authority" to force governors, who have been issuing stay-at-home orders to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, to reopen schools, businesses and other institutions in their states currently shuttered by the pandemic.


“The president of the United States has the authority to do what the president has the authority to do, which is very powerful,” Trump said at a news conference Monday evening. “The president of the United States calls the shots.”

GOP lawmakers, as well as Democrats, warned that Trump does not have unlimited powers under the Constitution. 

“Trump took a solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. After his years in the job, he ought to know something about that document,” Conway wrote. “Particularly as a supposed ‘conservative,’ Trump ought to know something about the relationship between the federal government and the states.”

Conway, echoing others, reiterated the 10th Amendment, which states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

“In our federal system, the states aren’t under Washington’s control, the way a corporate subsidiary might be owned by, say, the Trump Organization,” the conservative lawyer added.


Conway quipped that the White House is not like the 25th floor of Trump Tower, where the former real estate mogul and TV star has “ultimate authority to call all the shots.”

“And it’ll never be otherwise. Because the one thing Trump will never be able to accept about the exalted office he holds is that, unlike his company, it doesn’t belong to him,” he concluded.

Governors and other politicians across the country also pushed back against Trump’s comments, with New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCardinal Dolan hails Supreme Court decision on churches, COVID-19 Cuomo blames new conservative majority for high court's COVID-19 decision Vaccine skepticism emerges as early test for Biden MORE (D) warning that there would be a "problem" if Trump forced New York to reopen without the governor's approval.

“The president doesn't have total authority. The Constitution is there, the 10th Amendment is there, number of cases over the years, it's very clear. States have power by the 10th Amendment, and the president is just wrong on that point,” Cuomo said.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  New DOJ rule could allow executions by electrocution, firing squad MORE, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, knocked Trump’s claim that he was essentially "King of America."


"I am not running for office to be King of America. I respect the Constitution. I’ve read the Constitution. I’ve sworn an oath to it many times," Biden tweeted.

On Capitol Hill, two Democratic representatives and an independent lawmaker on Tuesday introduced a one-sentence resolution pushing back against the president's claims about his authority. 

The resolution, introduced by Reps. Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiFive things to know about Antony Blinken, Biden's pick for State Malinowski beats back GOP challenge in New Jersey House race Phil Murphy says no coronavirus outbreaks in New Jersey linked to Trump fundraiser MORE (D-N.J.), Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsChamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night If we want change, young people have to do more than protest Pelosi and Trump go a full year without speaking MORE (D-Minn.) and Justin AmashJustin AmashIncoming GOP lawmaker shares video of hotel room workout, citing 'Democrat tyrannical control' Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Romney congratulates Biden after victory MORE (I-Mich.), reads: "The House of Representatives affirms that when someone is the president of the United States, their authority is not total.”