During his press conference which was largely a combination of propaganda and temper tantrum, Donald Trump opened his mouth and said these words with a straight face and serious tone:
And if that wasn't enough for you, watch him shush CNN's Kaitlan Collins when she asks him who told him he has "total authority."
.@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
Even Liz Cheney couldn't abide his claim to tyranny:
The federal government does not have absolute power.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” United States Constitution, Amendment X
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) April 13, 2020
Nor could Jonah Goldberg:
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
The entire briefing was just one absurd claim after another. Trump was so unhinged that the CNN chyron writer had a field day:
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) April 13, 2020
CNN's Jim Acosta had an opinion, too:
CNN's Jim Acosta: "That is the biggest meltdown of a president of the United States that I've ever seen 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."
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) April 13, 2020
On the topic of "total authority" many had opinions:
Now that Trump has declared himself a dictator, the Tea Partiers and states' rights enthusiasts will break out their tricorner hats and Gadsden flags for a march on Washington, right?
— David Atkins (@DavidOAtkins) April 14, 2020
Republicans have spent my entire lifetime screaming about the tyranny of the Executive Branch -- their singular fear has appeared to be a President who says things exactly like this. https://t.co/3gHZMdO7j1
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) April 13, 2020
So, can we now safely say that Trump is an authoritarian President?
In his April 10 briefing, he said he has the power to ‘override’ States. Today, he said presidential authority is ‘total.’
Tomorrow he might say ‘L’Etat c’est moi’. America has its king! https://t.co/XaPK74v0yx
— Ghida Fakhry (@ghida_fakhry) April 14, 2020
This sums it up nicely:
"total authority"...total authoritarian" .. let's see how do we make that snappier? oh yes " total..itarian"
— Simon Schama (@simon_schama) April 14, 2020
Tyranny presents itself in a swath of orange hair and self-tanner. November cannot come soon enough.