Former President Donald Trump on Monday attempted to clarify his call for suspending parts of the U.S. Constitution or the “termination” of rules and regulations to allow himself to return to the White House, after drawing rebuke from other Republicans.
Initially, Trump said on his Truth Social platform on Saturday that the role of social media companies limiting and removing misinformation and content that violated its policies in 2020 “allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”
In his newest post, Trump indicated he didn’t say he wanted to terminate the Constitution, stating Monday that “steps must be immediately taken to RIGHT THE WRONG,” referring to what he describes as widespread fraud and deception involving “Big Tech” — of which he provided no evidence — in the 2020 election.
Trump’s initial comment came after Twitter CEO Elon Musk promoted a series of tweets from writer Matt Taibbi about Twitter removing content, particularly related to Joe Biden’s son Hunter, in 2020.
Earlier on Monday, a Republican close to Trump sought to clarify the former president’s comments, suggesting that Trump was misunderstood.
“He’s highlighting the unprecedented nature of Big Tech meddling in the 2020 election to benefit Joe Biden, just like how unprecedented of an act terminating some rules of the Constitution would be,” the Republican told Yahoo News.
Trump’s comments — the adviser did not say if Trump would push the idea further — followed a news cycle in which Republicans leaders roundly condemned him for dining with a white nationalist leader and increasingly antisemitic rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye.
His standing in the field of other possible 2024 candidates has diminished steadily since he left the White House almost two years ago, yet Trump remains the clear frontrunner, ahead of would-be competitors Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and a handful of others. Trump has not held any campaign events since his formal campaign launch on Nov. 15.
On Monday, former Vice President Mike Pence rejected the idea put forth by Trump, saying in an interview with WVOC radio that “everyone that serves in public office, everyone that aspires to serve or serve again, should make it clear that we will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
A handful of Republican lawmakers also quickly rebuked Trump’s comments over the weekend.
“You know, he says a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ever going to happen,” Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week."
Rep.-elect Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., said on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “Obviously, I don’t support that,” and said that most people want to move on from Trump’s 2020 loss.
“Looking backward and attacking the Constitution is the problem. It's time for our party to put this nonsense in the past and move forward.”
Trump’s latest explanation Monday continues a long-running trend of the former president making stunning statements and then walking them back — often without publicly determining a course of action. Near the end of the 2016 election, Trump said he would sue all the women accusing him of sexual assault, then rescinded the threat. And, in the spring of 2019, Trump proposed closing part of the border with Mexico, but said shortly after that he would wait a year to do so, according to research compiled by the Democratic opposition research group American Bridge.