MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said Tuesday that President Donald Trump is “yapping like an authoritarian wannabe” when he claims it is his decision to reopen the American economy.
Trump told reporters at Monday’s White House coronavirus task force news conference that, as president, his authority to reopen the economy in response to a reduced COVID-19 threat is “total.”
Those governors hit worst by the coronavirus pandemic are going to decide for themselves when to reopen their state economies and return life to some sort of normalcy, Scarborough said on “Morning Joe.” (RELATED: Bill Barr Calls For End To ‘Draconian’ Coronavirus Restrictions On May 1)
“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski said Trump delivered a “campaign rally” Monday that was “masked as a coronavirus briefing” and questioned the president’s “total authority” to reopen the national economy.
Scarborough agreed, suggesting that Trump had virtually handed responsibility for managing the COVID-19 pandemic to the states and said, “I can’t do anything. It’s the Constitution.”
“Suddenly … yesterday afternoon you called me up and you said, ‘Hey, [New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo is holding a press conference with the other governors, and Trump is going to go crazy.’ I go, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Well, since he’s giving them the power, they’re taking the power and, of course, they’re going to figure out when to reopen their states to economic business.’” (RELATED: Trump: Reopening The Country Will Be ‘Biggest Decision I’ve Ever Had To Make’)
“They’re working together to lead. That always gets to him,” Brzezinski said.
“Since he won’t lead. Yesterday, he completely melted down … Started yapping like an authoritarian wannabe”
When asked Monday whether states are obliged to follow the direction of the president or their governor, Trump claimed that “when somebody is the President of the United States the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be.”
Chief medical adviser to the coronavirus task force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has been noncommittal about whether it will be possible to resume normal economic activities on May 1, saying “the [COVID-19] virus kind of decides.”
Trump declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus crisis over a month ago, on March 13.