“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that is the way it’s gonna be,” Trump said on Monday. “It’s total. And the governors know that.”
Democratic and Republican governors alike took issue with that claim, insisting that they ― and not Trump ― had initiated the shutdowns in the first place and would end them only when it was safe to do so.
On Tuesday, Trump said it would be up to the governors after all, except he then suggested it would still be at his authority.
“I will be speaking to all 50 governors very shortly and I will then be authorizing each individual governor of each individual state to implement a reopening and a very powerful reopening plan of their state at a time and in a manner as most appropriate,” he said.
On Twitter, Trump’s critics were quick to point out that he didn’t have that “authority” and more than a few poked fun at the president over it:
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