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

George ConwayGeorge Thomas ConwayKellyanne Conway on Trump niece's book: 'I believe family matters should be family matters' Trump tweets 'we all miss' Ailes after swiping at Fox Lincoln Project hits Trump over Russian bounties MORE, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwaySources say DeSantis undercutting fundraising for Republican National Convention because of personal dispute: report Democrats see victory in Trump culture war Kellyanne Conway on Trump niece's book: 'I believe family matters should be family matters' MORE and a frequent critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' 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 CuomoNew York City reports zero COVID-19 deaths for first time since pandemic hit Florida health officials agreed to receive remdesivir from New York before DeSantis dismissed offer Cuomo says Northeast will likely see rise in COVID-19 cases due to surge in other parts of country 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 BidenDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Teachers face off against Trump on school reopenings Biden wins Puerto Rico primary 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) MalinowskiNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Thomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski House fires back at Trump by passing ObamaCare expansion MORE (D-N.J.), Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsIn the next COVID-19 bill, target innovation and entrepreneurship Small businesses receive much-needed Paycheck Protection Program fixes House passes bill to grant flexibility for small business aid program MORE (D-Minn.) and Justin AmashJustin AmashDemocrats fear US already lost COVID-19 battle Michigan candidate's daughter urges people not to vote for him in viral tweet Can Trump break his 46 percent ceiling? MORE (I-Mich.), reads: "The House of Representatives affirms that when someone is the president of the United States, their authority is not total.”