Trump suggestion of ‘termination’ of Constitution draws few GOP rebukes – The Washington Post

    Trump’s online posts Saturday — including a message in which he wrote that “UNPRECEDENTED FRAUD REQUIRES UNPRECEDENTED CURE!” — represented a significant escalation in his attacks on American institutions and democratic norms, one that scholars said must be heeded as a sign of how far he is willing to go to regain power.

    “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 posted on the Truth Social platform. “Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”

    Some GOP lawmakers who were asked on Sunday political shows about Trump’s latest missive said they disagreed with the former president. However, most still hesitated to say that they would oppose Trump if he becomes the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee.

    Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio), chair of the Republican Governance Group, avoided answering directly when asked ABC’s “This Week” about Trump’s comments, saying he “didn’t make a habit of speaking out on his tweet du jour” when Trump was in office. When pressed by host George Stephanopoulos, Joyce said he would “support whoever the Republican nominee is” — but didn’t think Trump would “be able to get there.”

    Laurence H. Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School, said there has been a legitimate, intellectual debate among constitutional scholars about whether the flaws in the nation’s founding documents are so fundamental that there should be a new constitutional convention.

    However, what Trump is engaging in is “not debate, but destruction,” Tribe said in an interview. “What he’s doing is openly shrieking in desperation that anything that stands in the way of his becoming all-powerful ought to be swept away.”

    “It’s a distinctive statement. It sort of says the quiet part out loud — that he has no reverence for the country, for anything other than himself,” Tribe said. “This is like saying, ‘You want to see an insurrection? I’ll show you an insurrection. I’ll just tear the whole thing up.’ ”

    Trump’s defenders on Sunday moved to tamp down the controversy. A Republican operative close to the ex-president, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, argued the post did not literally advocate or call for terminating the Constitution.

    When asked to clarify how Trump was not at least advocating for the Constitution’s termination, the operative said, “He’s making a comparison of the unprecedented nature of Big Tech meddling in the 2020 election to benefit Joe Biden with the unprecedented act of terminating the Constitution,” suggesting without evidence that technology platforms had tipped the scales for Biden in 2020.

    Some GOP members were stronger in their rebukes of Trump’s comments. On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said he “absolutely” condemned Trump’s remarks but emphasized there remained a long political process to go before Trump could be considered a 2024 front-runner.

    “I vehemently disagree with the statement that Trump has made. Trump has made, you know, a thousand statements in which I disagree,” Turner said. He added that voters “certainly are going to take into consideration a statement like this as they evaluate a candidate.”

    “With the former President calling to throw aside the constitution, not a single conservative can legitimately support him, and not a single supporter can be called a conservative,” Kinzinger tweeted Sunday, while tagging in his message the Twitter handles of McCarthy, as well as Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). “This is insane. Trump hates the constitution.”

    “The Constitution is set for a reason, to protect the rights of every American. And so I certainly don’t endorse [Trump’s] language or that sentiment,” Lawler said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think the former president would be well-advised to focus on the future if he is going to run for president again.”

    “I thought it was 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 into the extremism, not just of Trump, but of Trumpism,” Jeffries said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    On Sunday, Israel Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu said he believed Trump “probably understands” that the dinner crossed a line but hesitated to fault Trump or his rhetoric for a rise in antisemitism. He instead blamed social media for magnifying such divisions.

    “There are many, many blessings of the internet age, but it comes also with a curse. And the curse is polarization,” Netanyahu said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Antisemitism, he said, is “the oldest hatred, as I say, one of the oldest hatreds of humanity. It was wrong then, it’s wrong now. But it’s got an extra life probably in the United States and in other countries by the age of the internet.”

    This content was originally published here.

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