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CNN reporter flat-out contradicts Trump to his face when he claims king-like authority

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CNN's Kaitlan Collins (screengrab)

In the face of President Donald Trump’s truly galling press briefing on Monday, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins finally took a step so many have hoped to see from the White House press corps. She directly confronted Trump with the fact that a claim he made was plainly wrong.

Trump began claiming Monday morning on Twitter that he had the authority to lift the coronavirus shutdowns in place across the country, despite the fact that the Constitution gives him no such powers, and governors have enacted stay-at-home orders under the individual states’ authorities. When a reporter pressed him to explain these comments, Trump repeated and intensified his extreme and legally baseless position.

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“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total,” Trump said. “And that’s the way it’s gotta be.”

“The authority’s total?” the reporter asked.

“It’s total. It’s total,” Trump replied. “And the governors know that.”

“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total,” Trump said. “And that’s the way it’s gotta be.”

“The authority’s total?” the reporter asked.

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“It’s total. It’s total,” Trump replied. “And the governors know that.”

“Has any governor agreed that you have the authority to decide when their state opens back up?” Collins pressed further.

“I haven’t asked anybody. You know why? Because I don’t have to,” Trump said.

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“But who told you that the president has the total authority?” she asked again.

“Enough,” Trump said dismissively, still refusing to answer the question.

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Many observers pointed out that, had a Democratic president claimed to have “total authority” — in general, or with regard to telling governors what to do — right-wing media would have been up in arms. But when it’s Trump, conservative media completely swallows his absurd claims whole and without complaint.

This is not the first time Trump has spoken this way about presidential powers. Last July, Trump ridiculously claimed: “I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”

Watch the clip below:

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2020 Election

Republican’s own standing in Congress now in doubt — did his voter fraud lawsuit backfire?

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A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania has cast doubt on his own legitimacy to serve in Congress with his failed lawsuit attempting to overturn the 2020 election results.

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) attempted to have the courts block certification of the 2020 election results, but his effort was rejected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Saturday.

"The PA Supreme Court dismisses the case brought by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly that sought to overturn last year’s law creating no-excuse mail voting and to throw out those mail ballots cast in this election," Philadelphia Inquirer correspondent Jonathan Lai reported Saturday. "This is the case the Commonwealth Court had earlier blocked certification in."

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2020 Election

‘Another win for democracy’: Pennsylvania AG celebrates Trump’s latest loss in court

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Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election continued to be rejected by judges on Saturday.

"The PA Supreme Court dismisses the case brought by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly that sought to overturn last year’s law creating no-excuse mail voting and to throw out those mail ballots cast in this election," Philadelphia Inquirer correspondent Jonathan Lai reported Saturday. "This is the case the Commonwealth Court had earlier blocked certification in."

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro celebrated the ruling on Twitter.

"BREAKING: We just notched another win for democracy," Shapiro tweeted, with a red siren emoji.

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2020 Election

What can the left expect from a Biden-Harris administration? Pretty much nothing

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On Nov. 7 of this year, the United States let out a collective roar that rippled across the nation, resonating the crowds of blue-clad people swelling the streets and the squares, and causing buildings to tremble as those inside broke out the champagne and began to dance. The celebrations lasted long into the night. For those few precious moments, it felt as though a curse had been lifted, a nightmare abated. Trumpism had ground itself to a resounding and decisive halt and it seemed that political space on the left, and on the center ground, had finally begun to open again.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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