.@GStephanopoulos: “Have you ever been part of any discussion on perusing the 25th Amendment as a member of the cabinet?”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 23, 2018
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday that she never heard talk among cabinet members of removing President Donald Trump via the 25th Amendment.
“I have never been part of it,” she said. “I have never heard it. I don’t think that’s a reality at all among all the cabinet members. I’ve just never heard that. That’s absurd.”
The 25th Amendment–under which cabinet members can claim the president is unable to discharge his duties and must be removed–is a recurring theme among Trump’s critics. It seems like even his subordinates discussed it, but the question is how often, and how seriously did they take the idea?
Early this month, The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed by an senior administration official who mentioned “early whispers within the cabinet” discussing the 25th Amendment because of the instability of the Trump presidency. Officials balked because they didn’t want to trigger a constitutional crisis, this person said. No one publicly stepped forward to take credit for the editorial. Haley wrote a Washington Post op-ed calling out the anonymous author.
The 25th Amendment popped up again Friday after the Times reported sources that claimed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein allegedly discussed possibly being able to convince Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to support invoking. He publicly denied the claim. An anonymous source said that Rosenstein’s alleged comment about wearing a wiretap was made sarcastically.
The article–based on sources briefed on events, or on the memos written by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe–was criticized as enabling a smearjob against Rosenstein. A follow up report by The Washington Post cited people who claimed to be at the meeting in which wiretapping was discussed. They said it was McCabe who wanted a DOJ investigation into Trump. At one point, Rosenstein sarcastically said something along the lines of, “What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?” according to a source.
[Screengrab via ABC]