Donald Trump delivered one of his wildest White House briefings yet on the coronavirus on Monday, insisting his authority is total when it comes to ending lockdown measures, setting up a fight with state governors who believe the power lies with them.
Cutting a defensive, Nixonian figure at times, the president hailed his own record on the crisis, refuted negative media coverage and even ran a laudatory video for the benefit of the assembled press corps that was quickly dismissed as propaganda by CNN and other commentators.
We have a constitution. We dont have a king, New York governor Andrew Cuomo reminded Mr Trump afterwards, as his and other states formed alliances of their own to prepare for reopening, with the countrys death toll from the crisis passing 23,000.
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- Trump insists he has total authority in Covid-19 briefing meltdown
- President ridiculed by CNN for ‘propaganda’ video lauding his response
- New York governor reminds Trump he is not a king, forges alliances with neighbours
- Trump denies he plans to axe Dr Fauci after ill-advised retweet
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Trump insists he has total authority in Covid-19 briefing meltdownDonald Trump delivered one of his wildest White House briefings yet on the coronavirus on Monday, insisting his authority is total when it comes to ending lockdown measures, setting up a fight with state governors who believe the power lies with them.
“When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total. The governors know that,” he claimed. “The president of the United States calls the shots.”He then declined to offer specifics about the source of this asserted power, which he continued to insist, despite constitutional limitations, was absolute, a statement that left him sounding somewhere between a tyrannical medieval monarch and Eric Cartman of South Park fame.
More on the reaction to Trump’s belief in his divine right to rule in a moment.
The rest of his latest marathon press session saw the president continuing to bash the media over its negative coverage of his administration’s fatally slow response to the crisis – lashing out repeatedly at PBS reporter Paula White and calling her a “disgrace” – and downplaying the shortage of ventilators for American hospitals, saying demand from state governors had fallen (untrue) and attempting to pin the limited federal stockpile on the preceeding Obama White House.
Here’s John T Bennett with the full story.
- Joe Sommerlad
- 14 April 2020 10:06
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in the US and the Donald Trump administration’s response to it.
- Joe Sommerlad
- 14 April 2020 09:51