Donald Trump raised alarm by calling for the termination of the U.S. Constitution, but he has a long history demonstrating that he knows little about the founding document and cares even less.
The ex-president posted more lies about the 2020 election on his Truth Social website over the weekend to justify his extreme suggestion, which was prompted by Elon Musk's release of internal documents showing Twitter's decision to restrict materials stolen from Hunter Biden's computer, but Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler found Trump has long demonstrated ignorance of constitutional issues.
"Trump’s comments over the years do not indicate he has much depth of knowledge about one of the nation’s founding documents, which might indicate why he is fickle about it," Kessler wrote. "In fact, in one of his earliest tweets, on Dec. 5, 2011, he placed it on par with his latest book: 'First there was the Declaration of Independence, then there was the Constitution. Now there is #TimeToGetTough. Available today.'”
Trump has celebrated the Constitution and pledged during his first campaign to appoint Supreme Court justices who would follow its precepts, but he also used it as a cudgel against his enemies and pushed the document's boundaries.
“Let’s say you don’t do it,” Trump told his supporters at a Jan. 6, 2021, rally that preceded the U.S. Capitol riot. “Somebody says, ‘Well, we have to obey the Constitution,' and you are because you’re protecting our country and you’re protecting the Constitution. So you are, but think of what happens. Let’s say they’re stiffs and they’re stupid people, and they say, ‘Well, we really have no choice.’”
Trump repeatedly accused Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats of ignoring the Constitution, but his ongoing efforts to overturn his re-election loss shows that he cares little for the rules it codifies.
"I hope Mike is going to do the right thing, I hope so, I hope so," Trump told his supporters ahead of the insurrection. "Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election. All he has to do — all this is — this is from the number one or certainly one of the top constitutional lawyers in our country. He has the absolute right to do it. … Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a — a sad day for our country because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution. … Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country, and if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you.”