Hillary Clinton labels Trump coronavirus executive actions a 'stunt'

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump furor stokes fears of unrest Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close MORE on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE’s executive actions on coronavirus relief were a “stunt,” calling the orders both unconstitutional and a “diversion” from ongoing negotiations in Congress.

“[I]t's a stunt. There's no doubt about it. It’s most likely, as even Republican senators have said, unconstitutional, bypassing the Congress, trying to spend money he has no authority to direct,” Clinton said on MSNBC’s “AM Joy.” “But it's also meant to be a big diversion from the hard work the Congress should be engaged in to provide the kind of relief that tens of millions of Americans need.”

The three memoranda and one executive order announced by the president this weekend include actions suspending the payroll tax and extending the federal unemployment plus-up at a reduced rate, as well as an evictions moratorium and a freeze on student loan payments.

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Democratic leaders have blasted the actions as dubiously legal and ineffective in replacing actual legislation. They have particularly criticized the unemployment extension, which provides $400 a week rather than $600 and would require state governments to provide 25 percent of the payment.

“So, yes, it was a stunt. Most likely unconstitutional. He doesn't really have the authority to do what he tried,” Clinton said. “But he sent a signal to voters that, you know, if you were, unfortunately, unlucky enough to have him be president again, you can watch what he is going to do to Social Security and Medicare. And it's going to hurt not just elderly Americans but every American.”

Clinton also addressed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Joe Biden should enact critical government reforms if he wins MORE’s forthcoming announcement on his vice presidential candidate, saying she was “excited about” the women in the mix, who reportedly include Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act What Kamala Harris' VP nomination means to us Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' MORE (D-Calif.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Biden courts veterans amid fallout from Trump military controversies John Fogerty: 'Confounding' that Trump campaign played 'Fortunate Son' at rally MORE (D-Ill.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mass.), as well as Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerCoronavirus lockdowns work Michigan resident puts toilet on front lawn with sign 'Place mail in ballots here' Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election MORE (D) and Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsFlorida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Demings slams GOP coronavirus relief bill: Americans 'deserve more than the crumbs from the table' MORE (D-Fla.).

“But I think people have to understand that we are up against a wanna-be authoritarian who has already hurt our country, our institutions, our rule of law, has already scapegoated so many different groups of people,” she added. We just have to defeat Donald Trump. And we all have to do everything possible to make that happen.”