Administration

Trump and his allies attempt to reframe 25th Amendment talk by focusing on Biden

President Trump and other conservatives are trying to reframe legislation from House Democrats intended to gauge a president’s capacity to perform the job as a referendum on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Trump on Friday alleged that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had introduced the new bill not because of his own bout with COVID-19, but because she hoped to replace Biden with his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), if the two take office in January.

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi is looking at the 25th Amendment in order to replace Joe Biden with Kamala Harris. The Dems want that to happen fast because Sleepy Joe is out of it!!!” Trump tweeted.

The president found a friendly audience for that unsubstantiated claim during an appearance on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show Friday. The conservative host excitedly agreed when Trump raised the idea during a call-in segment.

“That’s exactly what it is. It’s a trial run to see if they can kick Biden out,” Limbaugh said. “It’s not aimed at you.”

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a Trump ally, also suggested Pelosi’s talk about the 25th Amendment was a “trial run” for replacing Biden with Harris.

There’s no evidence that Pelosi is motivated by the prospect of replacing Biden with Harris. For days, the Speaker has raised concerns that Trump’s judgment may have been impaired by his medication regimen following his COVID-19 diagnosis last week.

The bill unveiled by Pelosi and House Democrats on Friday morning would create a panel to gauge a president’s capacity to perform the job and potentially remove the commander in chief from office in cases of decided debility. The commission would be permanent, applying to future administrations.

“This is not about President Trump; he will face the judgment of the voters,” Pelosi told reporters Friday. “But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents.”

The legislation invokes the 25th Amendment, which empowers Congress to create “a body” that, working with the vice president, can remove a president deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

Democrats’ concerns about Trump have been fueled by a lack of transparency about the president’s treatment for the deadly virus. Doctors have not briefed the public since Monday, and subsequent notes from the president’s physician were brief and offered few details about Trump’s condition.

The White House has repeatedly refused to disclose when Trump last tested negative for the virus before he contracted it.

Despite Republican claims that the Democratic bill is a trial balloon to replace Biden, the legislation has little chance of being turned into law. Congress is on recess, the two chambers are controlled by different parties and the Senate is consumed by a Supreme Court nomination fight. Republicans in the Senate have already dismissed the bill as a political stunt.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany piled on Friday morning, telling “Fox & Friends” that Pelosi’s gambit is “absurd.”

Tags 25th Amendment Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Joe Biden Kamala Harris Nancy Pelosi Newt Gingrich

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