THE BIG IDEA: Sure, Donald Trump is not the kind of guy who carries around a pocket Constitution. He didn’t go to law school or teach Constitutional law, though to be fair many successful presidents have not.
But, in all seriousness, it is increasingly unclear that the presumptive Republican nominee has ever actually read the foundational document for the republic he aspires to lead.
One of the most puzzling talking points that top Republicans, including Paul Ryan, have used to justify their support is that Trump respects “the separation of powers.” In May, the Speaker said it was one of “the core principles that tie us all together.”
What that’s based on remains unknown.
During his closed-door meeting with House Republicans yesterday, Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg asked Trump what his understanding is of Article I (which enumerates the powers of Congress).
“I think his response was, ‘I want to protect Article I, Article II, Article XII,’ going down the list. There is no Article XII,” Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) told reporters afterwards. “It was the normal stream of consciousness that’s long on hyperbole and short on facts.” [Sanford, who said in May he’ll vote for Trump, added: "He may be loose on some facts, reckless on some, but there’s not malicious intent there.”]
Other sources in the room confirmed the episode.
Trump then called himself “a constitutionalist” and warned that “we’re getting away from it,” according to detailed notes from a participant in the meeting, which were provided to my colleague Josh Rogin.
The Constitution, as every school child is taught, has only seven articles.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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