President Donald Trump reasserted his authority on Monday at the White House to reopen the country as it continues fighting the coronavirus.
“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total, and that is the way it’s gotta be,” he said. “And the governors know that.”
President Trump’s authority to overrule governors on coronavirus restrictions was challenged by Democrats and the establishment media on Monday.
The president did not indicate he would use his authority to supersede governors, citing his “great relationship” with them, but reasserted his power nonetheless.
“We’re going to write up papers on this, it’s not going to be necessary, because the governors need us one way or the other,” he said. “Because ultimately it comes from the federal government.”
When asked by CNN whether Democrat governors agreed with him, Trump replied, “I haven’t asked anybody, you know why? Because I don’t have to.”
Several Democrat governors of blue states in the New York area banded together on regional task forces led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday. California Gov. Gavin Newsom also announced a coalition between California, Washington, and Oregon about reopening.
Vice President Mike Pence also defended the president’s authority.
“I support the president’s leadership under the national emergency declaration that he signed,” he said, noting that all 50 states and territories were under a state of emergency.
“Make no mistake about it, in the long history of this country, the authority of the president of the United States during national emergencies is unquestionably plenary,” he added.