Conservative group accuses Trump of thinking he’s king
A conservative group is accusing President Trump in a new ad of viewing himself as a king in light of his claim that he has “total authority” as president.
The ad, which includes clips of Trump’s recent White House coronavirus briefings, shows him with an animated crown atop his head. The ad by Republicans for the Rule of Law will air Friday on “Fox & Friends” in D.C. and will be promoted across digital platforms.
“As Americans sacrifice to fight the worst public health crisis in a century, our governors and local leaders are taking decisive action to protect our communities and reopen the economies safely. But now President Trump thinks he has the absolute power to tell states what to do,” its narrator says.
The ad includes clips of a briefing earlier this week when Trump said, “when somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total.”
Trump argued that he has the power to reopen state economies, rather than governors. He said that “numerous provisions” of the Constitution give him such authority but he did not name them. The president later backed away from his comments, saying he would authorize governors to reopen their states’ economies.
He faced pushback over his initial remarks, notably from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) who said Trump is wrong, citing the 10th Amendment which states that powers not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people.
“[There’s] many things you can debate in the Constitution because they’re ambiguous. This is not one of those things that is ambiguous. … This was the first battle, do we want a king or do we want a president? And we opted for a president,” Cuomo said at a briefing earlier this week.
Nearly every state has issued a stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic, shuttering schools and nonessential businesses.
More than 639,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 30,990 deaths have been reported across the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.