White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Sunday that “the Lord” created executive orders to trump partisan bickering.
That probably wouldn’t hold up against a court challenge to controversial executive actions President Donald Trump signed Saturday. House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the orders “absurdly unconstitutional.”
Navarro told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that The “Lord and the Founding Fathers created executive orders because of partisan bickering and divided government. That’s what we have here, but the president has taken action.”
Trump on Saturday signed four executive actions that he said would help Americans weather the COVID-19 crisis. They included an action to defer the payroll tax, which is the sole source of funding for Social Security. He said he is also considering “permanent cuts” to the tax and may “terminate” it, though Congress has the sole authority to cut taxes.
Trump also signed orders to provide $400 a week in enhanced unemployment benefits — less than the $600 weekly benefit that expired last month — and to extend a moratorium on some evictions.
Navarro said he was convinced that “statutory authority” existed to uphold Trump’s actions. “I’m confident that every single one of those orders which cleared through the office of legal counsel will stand up,” he said.
Todd asked Navarro why the president spent the weekend golfing during critical negotiations over help for Americans struggling amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Navarro insisted that Trump is the “hardest working president in history.” He slammed Pelosi, whom he complained “goes out every day with her scarves flying and just beats the heck out of us for being cruel people.”
Critics accused Trump of cynically using the COVID-19 emergency actions as cover to kill funding for Social Security and Medicare when they’re more important than ever.
Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden accused Trump of “laying out his road map” to cut the programs.
Watch Navarro’s interview in the video above.
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