Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has been engaged in a war of sorts with governors across the nation, recently asserting that he has the authority to order states when to reopen their economies. On Saturday, MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley weighed in on the issue.
Per Raw Story, anchor Ali Velshi opened the discussion by pointing out that the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
expresses the principle of states’ rights, stating that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people.”
“I think that Trump would love to be the dictator-in-chief,” Wiley responded, explaining that it appears Trump thinks he can run the country the way he ran his private businesses. In the private sector, the legal analyst noted, business leaders are allowed to behave like dictators, but that is certainly not the case when it comes to the public sector.
But the real problem with Trump, Wiley argued, is that he “really doesn’t care” what the Constitution says. The legal analyst then pointed to a number of examples she claims that prove Trump has no regard for the supreme law of the land. According to Wiley, Trump violated the Constitution when he pressured the Ukrainian government to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.
Another good example of Trump violating the Constitution, Wiley said, is the United States Congress being forced to use its “ability to say we’re going to stay in session, even when we’re not physically in D.C. to prevent Donald Trump from firing Jeff Sessions, that’s one of their fears was he was going to fire Jeff Sessions in order to protect himself.”
“This is a president who is motivated by his interests, not the interests of the country,” Wiley concluded.
In recent days, Trump has taken his feuds with governors to another level. On Friday, the president sided with anti-lockdown demonstrators, encouraging them to “liberate” their states. The president expressed support for the protesters via Twitter and then once again during the daily press briefing at the White House.
Trump has made sure to encourage the protests in Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia. All three are considered battleground states, and each of them has a Democratic governor. According to video footage and photographs from the protests, a large number of those opposed to social distancing measures appear to be Trump supporters.
Democrats have criticized Trump for encouraging the protests. Notably, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee argued in a statement that Trump is sabotaging his own administration’s efforts to fight COVID-19 by encouraging people to gather in large groups.