Angry Trump Defends Response, Claims Powers Over States

Governors say reopening is their decision
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2020 7:23 PM CDT
Trump Claims Authority to Reopen States, Lashes Out at Critics
President Trump speaks during his briefing Monday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Trump used his briefing on the pandemic Monday to angrily defend his administration's response, rip critics and the news media, and argue the presidency includes the power to decide when states can reopen for business. Governors immediately disagreed, the AP reports, saying public safety falls under their duties constitutionally. "When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total," Trump said. "The governors know that." Trump declined to say where that authority is articulated; he'd disagreed with governors on that point earlier in the day. Legal experts said the Constitution does not agree with Trump's view, and the president said he'd release reports documenting his position, per CNN.

Before discussing the day's pandemic news, Trump presented his defense, which included a campaign-like, 3-minute video of cable news clips in support of his arguments. He said the video was produced by aides in the White House, per the Hill. "So our tax dollars and the presidential mansion we own are now being used to broadcast campaign ads?" tweeted a former chief of the Office of Government Ethics. The video opened with type against a white background saying, "The media minimized the risk from the start," per the Daily Beast. When it ended, Trump pointed to reporters and said, "I'll ask you some questions because you're so guilty." His defense of his administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak was sweeping. "Everything we did was right," Trump said, per the New York Times. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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