Donald Trump’s suggestion that the United States disregard rules and regulations, including “those found in the Constitution,” drew scathing rebukes this weekend from politicians of both parties, with a top Democrat calling it “a danger to our democracy.”
What many saw as a bizarre proposal from a singularly unconventional former president came in his latest social media post hammering away at baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, which he lost to Joe Biden.
Given what he claimed was “massive and widespread fraud and deception” involving technology companies and the Democratic Party, “do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW 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,” he said on his Truth Social platform.
Even by Trump’s unorthodox standards, the suggestion of ignoring the Constitutional standards that form the foundation of the American political system was stunning.
“Attacking the Constitution and all it stands for is anathema to the soul of our nation and should be universally condemned,” said a White House statement, adding, “You cannot only love America when you win.”
‘He’s out of control’
Politicians of both parties took to Twitter to express their agreement.
“He’s calling for an end to America’s constitutional democracy,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “He’s out of control and a danger to our democracy.”
Incoming House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries described Trump’s statement as strange and extreme and said Republicans will have to make a choice whether to continue embracing Trump’s anti-democratic views.
“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 into the extremism, not just of Trump, but Trumpism,” Jeffries said.
Congressman Ted Lieu, a Democrat of California, called Trump’s proposal “anti-American and fascist.”
And Representative Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat, said Trump had “openly declared himself an enemy of the Constitution, and Republicans must repudiate him.”
Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of a few Republicans to vote to impeach Trump for inciting the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, said that now “not a single conservative can legitimately support him,” adding, “This is insane.”
Representative Mike Turner of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said he “vehemently” disagrees and “absolutely” condemns the remarks, saying they should be a factor as Republicans decide who should lead their party in 2024.
“There is a political process that has to go forward before anybody is a frontrunner or anybody is even the candidate for the party,” he said. “I believe that people certainly are going to take into consideration a statement like this as they evaluate a candidate.”
Representative-elect Mike Lawler, a New York Republican, also objected to the remarks, saying it was time to stop focusing on the “grievances of prior elections.”
“The Constitution is set for a reason, to protect the rights of every American,” Lawler said. “I think the former president would be well-advised to focus on the future, if he is going to run for president again.”
And John Bolton, who served as national security advisor to Trump before the two fell out, said that “all real conservatives must oppose his 2024 campaign for president.”
‘Clear and present danger’
Trump’s Truth Social post came a day after Elon Musk — who as the new owner of Twitter had reinstated Trump’s banned account on the platform — released internal correspondence showing how company staff interacted with Democrats and others in the runup to the 2020 election.
Conservatives had accused Twitter of suppressing stories critical of Biden’s son Hunter Biden.
But there was “no smoking gun showing that the tech giant had bent to the will of Democrats,” said the Washington Post.
The former president has suffered a series of setbacks, starting with the poor showing of several candidates he had endorsed in the November midterm elections.
And Trump drew angry, bipartisan criticism after hosting two known antisemites — the singer Kanye West and white supremacist Nick Fuentes — at a dinner in his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
There were legal setbacks as well: The Supreme Court ruled that Trump must turn over past tax returns to a House committee, and an appeals court halted a third-party review of classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.