On Monday, several GOP senators criticized Donald Trump’s weekend statement that the Constitution could be terminated in order to reinstate him as President. However, most didn’t extend their disapproval to Trump’s 2024 candidacy.
The Senate Republicans that weighed in on Trump’s comments on Truth Social on Saturday, emphasized the importance of upholding and protecting the Constitution.
“Well, I think that you take an oath of the Constitution. You don’t take them provisionally,” stated Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri, who will be retiring in early January. “And I cannot imagine that a former President would make such a statement.”
When asked about Trump’s comment, Senator John Cornyn, a Texas adviser to Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said that he didn’t understand why anyone would make such a statement, and certainly not an ex president. That’s irresponsible.
Cornyn, however, was asked if Trump’s statements should disqualify him for another White House bid. He then added, “Well it’s unclear who’s going to run,” before adding: “I mean, he is until I’m not.”
Trump proposed to end the Constitution in a posting to Truth Social Platform, referring specifically to false claims of widespread electoral fraud in 2020.
Trump wrote, “A Massive Fraud such as this allows for the termination all rules, regulations and articles even those found within the Constitution.”
Trump’s tweet was in response to Elon Musk, Twitter CEO’s promotion of a series of tweets he claimed exposed “free speech suppression” through revealing internal documents that showed how the company handled a New York Post article on Hunter Biden in 2020.
The reactions to Trump’s post at Capitol Hill reminded me of his four years as president. In those four years, GOP lawmakers had to tread a fine line and try to distance themselves from Trump’s remarks without becoming targets of Trump or his supporters.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who was one of the few Senate Republicans to vote to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial last spring, tweeted Monday that his remarks were an “affront to the nation.”
Murkowski wrote, “Suggesting that the Constitution be terminated is not only a defiance of our Oath of Office but it’s also an affront against our Republic.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Mike Rounds tied Trump’s comments to his 2024 goals.
“Anyone who wants to lead our country must pledge to protect the Constitution. They shouldn’t threaten to end it,” said the South Dakota Republican in a statement.
McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader of California, and the Republican National Committee have not yet commented on Trump’s post. NBC News reached out earlier to all three parties for comment.
McConnell stated Monday to reporters that he would respond Tuesday in his weekly remarks.
McCarthy said late last month that the House Republicans would put the Constitution front-and-center under their majority starting with the first day in the new Congress.
He tweeted November 25: “On the very first Day of the Republican-led Congress we will read every word of the Constitution aloud on the House floor–something that hadn’t been done for years.”
Andrew Bates, White House spokesperson, stated that attacking the Constitution is “anathema for the soul of our country and should be universally condemn.”