President Donald Trump took the opportunity before a friendly audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington yesterday to blast his presidency as a “fake” occupation of the White House and has vowed to bar himself from government despite the role the Constitution has assigned to the president.
“Nobody appreciates the constitutionally protected role of the presidency more than I do,” said Trump, who spoke on the second day of the annual event. “That’s why no one is in a better position to recognize a fake presidency when there is one.”
Trump said no presidency deserves the label “fake” more than his, because his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in November depended on the FBI, voter suppression, and the Russian government. “I never would have gotten enough votes to win had the FBI director not raised false alarms about Hillary Clinton not once but twice during the election,” he said. “And they did it even though they knew the Russians were hacking the Democratic National Committee and did nothing about it.”
Trump said Republicans’ efforts over the last decade to enact state laws to make it harder for minorities to vote was also key to his victory. “White Americans never could have crushed the minority vote had we not taken the steps we did over the years to suppress their turnout,” he said.
And the Russian hacking, which resulted in the disclosure of embarrassing communications within the Democratic party, helped put the Republican election effort across the finish line.
“Imagine if none of that had happened,” he said. “I barely eked out an electoral college victory. I couldn’t have done that without all the external help I got from the cheating.”
As it is, Clinton won the popular vote by almost three million.
“As I stand here I have no right to call myself the president,” he said. “And yet that’s what I am. Which is why I’m barring myself from the White House. The American people deserve better than to have a fake president.”
Not everyone at the convention was happy with Trump’s remarks. “I find it very disturbing that our president is undermining one of the pillars of our democracy by barring himself from office,” said Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president. “It’s one thing to take pot shots at our system of government on the campaign trail, but now that we’re in office, to delegitimize his own, constitutionally protected role in government is wrong on so many levels.”
Steve Bannon, Trump’s senior advisor, agreed. “You can’t deconstruct the government if the president is going off and deconstructing his own role,” he said. “Trump won 308 electoral votes. Regardless of what transpired to make that happen, the outcome is what it is and he must allow himself to stay in office. To do anything less would level a devastating blow to our democracy.”
Another senior advisor, Stephen Miller, said President Trump’s legitimacy “is not to be questioned,” and he took the president to task for questioning it. “I can assure you, Vladimir Putin is not questioning his legitimacy as president of Russia.”
Attendees at the convention, many waving Russian flags with “Trump” printed on them, agreed. “President Trump!” they yelled. “President Trump!”
But Trump appeared unmoved by the outburst. “It’s all a fake presidency,” he said. “We can’t make America great again until we get me out of office and put in place someone who actually has the legitimacy to govern.”
Trump said he had called his new deportation force to bar his entry to the White House and remove him to Trump Tower in New York City.
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