The Biden White House has reprimanded Donald Trump after the former president said the US constitution should be ‘terminated’ for his lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: “Attacking the constitution and all it stands for is anathema to the soul of our nation and should be universally condemned.”
Bates called the constitution a “sacrosanct document”, saying, “You can’t just love America when you win”.
Trump lost to Joe Biden in 2020, by more than 7 million votes and by 306-232 in the Electoral College, a result he called a landslide when it was in his favor in 2016, against Hillary Clinton .
Trump continues to claim Biden won key states through voter fraud, a lie that fueled the deadly attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Nine deaths have been linked to the riot, including suicides law enforcement. More than 950 people have been charged. This week, two members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia were convicted of seditious conspiracy. Other members of pro-Trump far-right groups face similar charges.
Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter after the Capitol attack. It has not yet returned to the latter, despite its new owner, Elon Musk, saying he is free to do so. On Saturday, Trump took to his own social media platform, Truth Social, to say of the 2020 election: “Massive fraud of this type and magnitude allows termination of all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the constitution. He also said that “unprecedented fraud requires unprecedented remedy”.
Trump was writing after Musk claimed he would show Twitter was guilty of “suppressing free speech” by posting evidence of how the platform responded to campaign demands during the 2020 election.
Trump is the only declared candidate for the Republican nomination in 2024, but he has come under increasing criticism from Republicans and Republican-friendly media since the midterm elections in which many of his nominees endorsed were defeated, including Holocaust deniers in battleground states. The Republicans took the House, but only by a narrow margin, and failed to retake the Senate.
On Saturday, Trump also slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and “all the weak Republicans who couldn’t get the 2020 presidential election endorsed and discarded fast enough.” Even after the Capitol riot, 147 Republicans opposed the results in key states.
Senior Republicans also criticized Trump for his decision to have dinner at his Florida home with Nick Fuentes, a known white supremacist and anti-Semite. But although Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has risen in polls for possible 2024 contenders, few in the party have broken decisively with Trump and those who have been largely pushed out.
On Saturday, Brian Schatz, a Democratic US senator from Hawaii, pointed to such a harsh political reality, saying“Trump just called for the suspension of the constitution and that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back for zero Republicans, especially those who call themselves ‘constitutional conservatives’.”
One of those conservatives is Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader who is vying to become Speaker of the House. Shortly before Trump said the constitution should be terminated, McCarthy said that when his party took power in January, he would demonstrate his constitutionalist good faith by reading “every word” of the hallowed document on the floor of the House.
On Sunday, Hakeem Jeffries, the newly elected House Democratic leader, told ABC’s This Week that Trump had made “a strange statement, but Republicans are going to have to work through their issues with the former president and decide s ‘they’re going to break with him and go back to some semblance of reasonableness or continue to lean into the extremism, not just of Trump, but of Trumpism’.
On the same show, Dave Joyce of Ohio, chairman of the Moderate Republican Governance Group, declined five opportunities to say he wouldn’t vote for Trump if he was the 2024 nominee.
Trump, Joyce said, “says a lot of stuff — but that doesn’t mean it’s ever going to happen… We’re moving forward and we’re going to keep moving forward as a majority Republican and as a conference Republican. ”
Its host, George Stephanopoulos, said: “I don’t see how you can move forward if your candidate is for suspending the constitution.”
On Saturday, Mehdi Hasan, who hosts a show on MSNBC, said every Republican in Congress should face such grilling, writing, “Do you support Donald Trump’s demand to ‘end’ the constitution? Doesn’t his request disqualify him from running for president? Two questions that every Republican member of the House and Senate must ask themselves, again and again, in the coming days. »
Hasan also highlighted Trump’s dinner at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, with Nick Fuentes, saying that in just two weeks the former president had ‘said or done things that would be lifelong scandals. for other politicians … he really knows how to flood the area”. Critics of Trump on the political right condemned the remark.
John Bolton, George W Bush’s ambassador to the UN, who became Trump’s third national security adviser, said: “No American conservative can accept Donald Trump’s call to suspend the constitution because of of the 2020 election results. And all true conservatives must oppose his 2024 presidential campaign.”