After a two day break, the White House coronavirus task force was back in the briefing room to update the public on the outbreak of the virus.
It did not take long for President Donald Trump to begin clashing with reporters who pushed back on his claim that he has the authority — not governors — to decide when to lift restrictions on public life.
When he was asked about his claim, Trump said, “When somebody is the President of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s gotta be. It’s total.”
Watch the video below:
TRUMP: "When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that's the way it's gotta be. It's total." pic.twitter.com/zIuiBn1Mhw
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 13, 2020
Throughout the press conference, which lasted more than two hours, Trump defended his actions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus as well as his claim on his presidential authority.
CNN tried to capture the moments of the briefing with sensational chyrons:
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) April 13, 2020
CNN’s Jim Acosta had harsh words for Trump’s demeanor during the press conference, “That is the biggest meltdown I have ever seen from a President of the United States in my career.”
“I don’t think a reasonable person could watch what we just saw over the last hour and conclude that the president is in control — he sounds like he is out of control,” he added.
He continued, “He was ranting and raving for the better part of the last hour during that news conference. … The Constitution does not give the President of the United States total authority.”
"I don't think a reasonable person could watch what we just saw over the last hour and conclude that the President is in control. He sounds like he is out of control." pic.twitter.com/yFf84P0MmU
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) April 13, 2020
Check out some of the reactions below:
The president of the United States' authority is not "total" in this or nearly anything else. If Obama ever said anything like that, talk radio conservatives would set themselves on fire.
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) April 13, 2020
Why do reputable news organizations carry these daily Trump press conferences live?
They are filled with misinformation and propaganda. From the President himself, no less.
The country would be far better served and informed if they used highlights later.
Enough is enough.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 13, 2020
“The authority of the President of the United States is total.” — Emperor Donald J. Trump, April 13, 2020, 6:58 pm. Gasp!
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) April 13, 2020
.@kaitlancollins: You said when someone is the president, their authority is total. That is not true.
TRUMP: "Okay — you know what we're going to do? We're going to write up papers on this. It's not gonna be necessary. Because the governors need us one way or the other." pic.twitter.com/NUe1b2BvcT
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 13, 2020
Trump: “I’m the President. I have the power to do whatever I want. My authority is total.”
Hannity, Limbaugh & all the rest of MAGA World: “Hell, yes he does! That’s right. That’s our President.”
Barack Obama, chuckling: “You just can’t make this shit up.”
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) April 13, 2020
You guys… I'm starting to think the president is not well.
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) April 14, 2020
Trump: My authority is total but my responsibility is zero. What leadership. https://t.co/CA9RE5Jxn6
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) April 13, 2020
"The authority is total."@realdonaldtrump declaring the President's power is "total" is…something.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) April 13, 2020
Trump: When somebody is the president, "the authority is total."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 13, 2020
The President just threatened every Governor in the country. Let's see who is intimidated. They're not President of Ukraine
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) April 13, 2020
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) April 13, 2020
Too all the ppl watching Mr Trump right now, this is so unconscionable and unprofessional. He is using this airtime to pick a fight with the media and Democratic officials.
Don’t take the bait.
We have to focus on saving lives. Saving lives should be the President’s focus.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) April 13, 2020
The fiery press conference led the hashtag “Trump Meltdown” to trend on Twitter.
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