Rantt Rundown: President Trump Believes He’s A King
Day 501 of the Trump presidency
The President’s disinformation campaign alleging he is above the law has begun.
Over the weekend, a January 2018 memo from Trump’s legal team to Special Counsel Robert Mueller leaked. It made some troubling claims. Aside from claiming that the President of the United States cannot obstruct justice, Trump’s legal team admitted that Donald Trump Sr. personally dictated Trump Jr.’s initial misleading statement about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives. The admission contradicts months of denials from the White House and Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow. It also adds further evidence to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s obstruction case. The boldness of the admission makes sense given the assertion that the crime of obstruction of justice does not apply to the President.
“The President’s actions here…as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction…”―Trump’s Legal Team, 2018
“Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”―Richard Nixon, 1977https://t.co/aQdrtZW33f
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) June 3, 2018
Jay Sekulow, 7/16/17: “The President was not involved in the drafting of the statement”
Sarah Sanders, 8/1/17: “He weighed in, offered suggestions like any father would do.”
Trump lawyers to NYT today: Trump dictated the statement, which they call “short but accurate” https://t.co/W9rcRxkZgo
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) June 2, 2018
Then came Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani’s claim that President Trump could’ve shot Former FBI Director James Comey and he still wouldn’t be indicted, he’d have to be impeached. Although true that a sitting President can’t be indicted, it was a startling example and one that further bolsters the President’s new approach.
And today, President Trump openly declared himself above the law and questioned the constitutionality of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
This past weekend, a leaked Trump legal team memo essentially argued that President Trump is above the law.
Now, President Trump is claiming he can pardon himself and falsely calls the appointment of Special Counsel* Robert Mueller unconstitutional. pic.twitter.com/kRclPi5JYi
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) June 4, 2018
Both of these claims are, of course, lies.
In a legal opinion issued just 4 days before Nixon stepped down, DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that a president can’t pardon himself.
“Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the president cannot pardon himself.” https://t.co/94jnoCHUtn
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 5, 2018
Where to begin with this morning’s nonsense? Of course the Special Counsel’s appointment is not unconstitutional. The law and Supreme Court cases are quite clear on that. As to whether the President can pardon himself, that hasn’t been tested, but top legal experts say no.
— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) June 4, 2018
So why is the President doing this? As I mentioned in last week’s Unpresidented, this isn’t a legal strategy. It’s a PR play to convince his base that he is above the law. The strategy could be in an effort to protect the President in case Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report shows conclusive evidence that President Trump is guilty of obstruction of obstruction of justice. This way, even if Democrats win the House and Senate, and the House files articles of impeachment, they won’t be able to flip enough Republican Senators’ votes to successfully remove Trump from office because of the base’s blind support of him.
And, looks like his propaganda arm over at Fox News is already hard at work helping him sell this false narrative.
.@seanhannity: “President @realDonaldTrump and his legal team— they do have the power to literally order @TheJusticeDept to actually initiate an investigation, end an investigation, and by the way, for any reason. That is within the president’s constitutional authority.” #Hannity pic.twitter.com/xtR8y62W5C
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 5, 2018
President Donald Trump is conducting himself like the wannabe-king the Founding Fathers designed the U.S. Constitution to protect us from.
Quite a number of people are comparing President Trump’s claim of a right to self-pardon to George III. In fact, Trump is asserting a much much greater power than George III ever imagined – a power for which Charles I lost his head and James II lost his throne … more …
— David Frum (@davidfrum) June 4, 2018
We – average Americans, members of the media, and Congressional leaders – must push back on this authoritarian rhetoric before it’s too late.
President Nixon asked the Department of Justice if he could pardon himself. They said no, as no one may be the judge in their own case. He resigned three days later.
In case you want to follow the Nixon model, that would be Thursday. https://t.co/5ntHaySTBJ
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 4, 2018
Look at what’s happening now:
Mueller seeking to jail Trump campaign chair for *witness tampering*
Trump aides admit they *lied* about Trump’s Don Jr defense
Trump lawyers say a President can obstruct justice
And Trump says he can pardon himself — pardons are for criminals.
— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) June 5, 2018
- Special Counsel Robert Mueller turned up the heat on Trump’s former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.
JUST IN: Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of attempting to shape potential witnesses’ testimony and has asked to send him to jail as he awaits his trial, according to a court filing https://t.co/u231dSZYH0 pic.twitter.com/BpM9tERUOd
— CNN (@CNN) June 5, 2018
- CNN reported:
As President Donald Trump huddled in the Oval Office on Friday with Kim Jong Un’s right-hand man, he was accompanied by only one other US official: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Absent was the administration’s most vocal North Korea hawk, national security adviser John Bolton.
The White House insists the meeting was always intended to remain small. But the tableau reflected deeper rifts among Trump’s national security team and a new reality as the President prepares for his historic meeting with Kim next week in Singapore: the voices advocating most forcefully to tighten the noose on Pyongyang have been sidelined as Trump seeks out a history-making handshake.
- Today’s Supreme Court ruling stirred up some confusion. A great thread on it:
It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case does NOT invalidate anti-discrimination laws about sexual orientation
— Savannah L. Barker (@savannah_lb) June 4, 2018
- More news confirming the full extent of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s corruption. The Washington Post reported: “Scott Pruitt had aide do various personal tasks, including hunt for a used Trump hotel mattress”
- President Trump disinvited the Eagles to the White House.
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
Philly mayor Jim Kenney’s statement is pointed.
After President Trump disinvited the #Eagles to the White House, Kenney calls him “a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend.” pic.twitter.com/90pHhIR4SU
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) June 5, 2018
This is the kind of painful diss that would make a grown man shed a single tear. https://t.co/4TYx5i9d7J
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) June 5, 2018
- The Parkland survivors gave us a reason to hope.
The students of March for Our Lives, including survivors of the Parkland shooting, will announce a 60-day, 20-state, 75-stop summer bus tour to register young people to vote and to promote gun law reform. https://t.co/TiVNbBNYxe
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 4, 2018