Washington – President Donald Trump insisted Tuesday that he has the authority to order the reopening of the economy and rejected the governors’ objections, comparing them to a crew that stands against the captain of a ship.
Both Democratic and Republican governors expressed alarm at Trump’s statements that he has the highest authority to lift restrictions such as the closure of businesses or the imposition of social distancing rules in force in the wake of the coronavirus.
Trump, for his part, was delighted to fight with state officials, particularly those in severely affected states ruled by Democrats, who have expressed fears that a lifting of the restrictions will lead to a resurgence of the virus.RELATED
“A classic mutiny from time to time is an entertaining and exciting sight, especially when mutineers need the Captain so badly,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “How easy!”.
Trump is eager to revive the economy and leave the crisis behind, and has been meeting with his advisers on ways to lift the social distancing rules that expire at the end of the month. However, he has repeatedly refused to disclose the source of his claim on absolute presidential powers, despite the limitations set forth in the Constitution.
Tell the Democrat Governors that “Mutiny On The Bounty” was one of my all time favorite movies. A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain. Too easy!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2020
“When someone is president of the United States, his authority is total. The governors know it,” said the president in the White House.
In fact, governors of both parties made it clear that they disagree with that and have stressed that the maximum responsibility for security in their states rests with them, and that they will decide when the conditions are in place to resume economic activity.
“The president’s position is absurd,” New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is a Democrat, said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.”
“That is not what the law says, that is not what the constitution says. We do not have a king, we have a president,” he added.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who is a Republican, told CNN: “All of these executive orders are executive orders of the state and therefore it will be up to the state and the governor to revoke them.”
While Trump has issued national recommendations for people to stay at home, it has been local governors and leaders who have enforced mandatory restrictions, such as the closure of businesses and schools. Some of those instructions carry fines or other penalties, and in some jurisdictions extend through the summer.