Hillary Clinton labels Trump coronavirus executive actions a 'stunt'

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE on Sunday said President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 BidenPfizer CEO says vaccine data for those under 5 could be available by end of year Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles 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 HarrisJoe Manchin should embrace paid leave — now The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden defends disappointing jobs report Harris's office undergoes difficult reset MORE (D-Calif.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense & National Security — Austin mandates vaccine for Guardsmen Biden signs four bills aimed at helping veterans Wisconsin senators ask outsiders not to exploit parade attack 'for their own political purposes' MORE (D-Ill.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (D-Mass.), as well as Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan prosecutor calls state gun laws 'woefully inadequate' 65M women could lose abortion rights in Supreme Court case Judge orders pro-Trump election lawyers to pay 5,000 in sanctions MORE (D) and Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsSununu exit underscores uncertain GOP path to gain Senate majority Democrats brace for flood of retirements after Virginia rout Rep. Brown to run for Maryland attorney general 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.”