HomeWorldBiden rebukes Trump for saying constitution should be ‘terminated’ | Donald Trump
Biden rebukes Trump for saying constitution should be ‘terminated’ | Donald Trump
December 4, 2022
The Biden White House rebuked Donald Trump after the former president said the US constitution should be “terminated” over his lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
Andrew Bates, a White House spokesperson, 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 cannot only love America when you win.”
Trump lost to Joe Biden in 2020, by more than 7m votes and by 306-232 in the electoral college, a result he called a landslide when it was in his favour in 2016, against Hillary Clinton.
Trump continues to claim that Biden won key states through electoral fraud, a lie that fuelled the deadly attack on the US Capitol by his supporters on 6 January 2021. Nine deaths have been linked to the riot, including suicides among 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 far-right, pro-Trump groups face similar charges.
Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter after the Capitol attack. He has not yet returned to the latter, despite its new owner, Elon Musk, saying he is free to do so. On Saturday, Trump used his own social media platform, Truth Social, to say of the 2020 election: “A massive fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the constitution.”
Trump also said an “unprecedented fraud requires an unprecedented cure”.
He was writing after Musk claimed he would show that Twitter was guilty of “free speech suppression” by releasing evidence of how the platform responded to requests from campaigns in the 2020 election.
Trump is the only declared candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 but he has faced increased criticism from Republicans and Republican-supporting media since midterm elections in which many of his endorsed candidates were defeated, including election deniers running for governor and key elections roles in battleground states. Republicans took the House, but only by a narrow majority, and failed to retake the Senate.
On Saturday, Trump also criticised the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, and “all of the weak Republicans who couldn’t get the presidential election of 2020 approved and out of the way fast enough”. Even after the Capitol riot, 147 Republicans in Congress objected to results in key states.
Senior Republicans have recently criticised Trump over his decision to have dinner at his home in Florida with Nick Fuentes, a known white supremacist and antisemite. But though the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, has surged in polls regarding possible 2024 contenders, few in the party have broken decisively with Trump and those who have have largely been forced out.
On Saturday, Brian Schatz, a Democratic US senator from Hawaii, pointed to such hard political reality, saying: “Trump just called for the suspension of the constitution and it is the final straw for zero Republicans, especially the ones who call themselves ‘constitutional conservatives’.”
One such conservative is Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader battling to become House speaker. Not long before Trump said the constitution should be terminated, McCarthy said that when his party took control in January, it would demonstrate its constitutionalist bona fides by reading “every single word” of the hallowed document on the floor of the House.
On Sunday, Hakeem Jeffries, the newly elected Democratic leader in the House, told ABC’s This Week Trump had made “a strange statement, but the Republicans are going to have to work out their issues with the former president and decide whether they’re going to break from him and return to some semblance of reasonableness or continue to lean in to the extremism, not just of Trump, but of Trumpism”.
Trump and Trumpism are becoming more and more of a headache for McCarthy, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and other senior Republicans.
On Saturday, Mehdi Hasan, who hosts a show on the TV channel MSNBC, tweeted: “Do you support Donald Trump’s demand to ‘terminate’ the constitution? Doesn’t his demand disqualify him for running for the presidency? Two questions that every single Republican member of the House and Senate needs to be asked, again and again, in the coming days.”
Hasan also pointed to 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 truly knows how to flood the zone”. Trump critics on the political right did condemn the remark.
John Bolton, George W Bush’s UN ambassador who became Trump’s third national security adviser, said: “No American conservative can agree with Donald Trump’s call to suspend the constitution because of the results of the 2020 election. And all real conservatives must oppose his 2024 campaign for president.”