An extraordinary anti-democratic statement from former President Donald Trump, suggesting the “termination” of the Constitution to overturn the 2020 election, drew a degree of bipartisan condemnation over the weekend, with a flood from Democrats and a trickle from Republicans.
But it did not appear to do any more than similar past actions in prompting Republican officials to rule out supporting Trump in 2024.
Inaccurately describing the contents of a just-released report about Twitter’s moderation decisions during the 2020 campaign, Trump again demanded that the 2020 election be overturned or rerun, for the first time explicitly calling to set aside the supreme law of the land.
“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” he wrote in a post Saturday on his social network, Truth Social.
Trump was responding to a report Friday night about Twitter employees’ internal deliberations over the company’s decision in 2020 to block links to an article that described emails found on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son.
The report, a Twitter thread by writer Matt Taibbi, also criticized the fact that the Biden campaign had a back channel to ask Twitter to remove certain tweets, although it noted that Republicans had such a back channel, too.
The explicit suggestion of suspending the Constitution was astonishing even by the standards of Trump, who has spent the past two years spreading lies about the 2020 election, which he lost, and promoting various illegal mechanisms for overturning it.
Less than three weeks ago, Trump announced a third bid for the presidency.
“Attacking the Constitution and all it stands for is anathema to the soul of our nation and should be universally condemned,” Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, said in a statement.
Several Republicans did reject the comments. “Well, obviously I don’t support that,” Representative-elect Mike Lawler, said on Sunday. ”The Constitution is set for a reason, to protect the rights of every American.”
But far more remained silent, including Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader who hopes to become Speaker when Republicans take control of the chamber in January. Two press representatives for McCarthy did not immediately respond to requests for comment Sunday.