Monday, July 20, 2020

Fox News' Chris Wallace conducted with Donald Trump on Sunday a wide-ranging interview soliciting responses so Trumpian that CNN's Chris Cillizza was able to compile what CNN referred to as the "55 most shocking lines" of the President.

Cillizza's list was comprehensive. However, the 4:19 summary in the Washington Post clip below omitted what was probably the most dangerous remark made by the President.

Also emphasized is the series of questions about the novel coronavirus and, taken as a whole, the idea that Donald Trump is pleased with the great number of deaths should gain currency.  Asked about insufficient testing, the President (at 6:30 of the video of the full interview) admitted "iIn a way we're creating trouble" before catching himself and going to his "fake news" standby.

Attention has been paid to Trump refusing to commit himself to accepting the results of the 2020 election. However, given that he has not accepted the results of an election he won, the likelihood of him going quietly if Joe Biden beats him was always slim. However, the Intercept's Amanda Holpuch noted

Trump also made the astounding claim that in two weeks’ time, he will sign a new healthcare plan.

On the campaign trail in 2016, he promised to overturn the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which provides health insurance to those who cannot otherwise afford it. An effort to do so in Congress failed. Late last month – during a pandemic – the White House wrote a brief in support of a lawsuit seeking to bring the ACA down.

Wallace pointed out that in three years, Trump has not unveiled his promised replacement.

Trump responded: “We’re signing a healthcare plan within two weeks, a full and complete healthcare plan that the supreme court decision on DACA [an immigration decision which went against the administration] gave me the right to do.

“So we’re going to solve – we’re going to sign an immigration plan, a healthcare plan, and various other plans. And nobody will have done what I’m doing in the next four weeks.”

"Astounding" it is. Vox's Aaron Rupar:
Charlie Pierce caught the Axios report that John

 Yoo detailed the theory in a National Review article, spotted atop Trump’s desk in the Oval Office, which argues that the Supreme Court's 5-4 DACA ruling last month "makes it easy for presidents to violate the law. The president has brought up the article with key advisers, two Trump administration officials tell Axios. Yoo writes that the ruling, and actions by President Obama, pave the way for Trump to implement policies that Congress won’t. Some could remain in force for years even if he loses re-election. 

Yoo — who next week will be out with a new book, "Defender in Chief," on Trump's use of presidential power — tells Axios that he has met virtually with White House officials about the implications of the ruling. What's next: The first test could come imminently. Trump has said he is about to unveil a "very major" immigration policy via executive order, which he says the Supreme Court gave him the power to do.

It goes back further, to then-Attorney General William Barr's ability to convince President George H. Bush to pardon everybody in the Iran-Contra scandal who could have implicated President Bush. They all relied on "a lushly funded network of conservative organizations to finance the scholarship that brought (Supreme Court Justice Antonin) Scalia’s opinion to political life."

What Pierce understandably doesn’t concede is the role President Obama’s Executive Order itself had in prompting the court case in which President Trump now finds solace and his Justice Department will use to defend any move Trump makes unilaterally on health care or immigration…. or anything else. Obama’s Executive Order, albeit compassionate, was always of dubious legality extended on behalf of individuals who (as children) were brought to this country illegally and which might come back to smack immigrants and health care consumers in the…. well, you know.

It would be ironic were an action of President Obama, so loathed by the current President, were successfully leveraged to extend the reach of the chief executive into areas which would prove very damaging to the nation. But that is the threat made by Donald Trump when questioned by Chris Wallace, and a reminder that if things are bad now, they could get much worse.

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