Thursday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” host Nicolle Wallace questioned Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on if he is obligated to act in light of the The New York Times anonymous op-ed written by a senior White House official claiming that cabinet officials contemplated removing President Donald Trump under the 25th Amendment.
Partial transcript follows:
WALLACE: Let me bring you into this conversation we’re having. Did the op-ed yesterday in “The New York Times,” from a political appointee of Donald Trump, that told all of us that the cabinet has talked about invoking the 25th Amendment change things in your view?
DURBIN: I can tell you that 25th Amendment is a steep hill to climb. To have the vice-president as well as a majority of the cabinet notify the Congress, both the House and the Senate that the president is unable to continue in office is a pretty steep request against any administration. And then a two-thirds vote in both chambers to move the vice-president into the operating position, that, too, is a big high hill to climb. We have with this “New York Times” piece an indication that within this administration there is a genuine fear that this president is going to go too far. I’ve had that fear for a long time, and hope there would be saner people around him.
WALLACE: Senator, is the fact that—I understand the difficulty and the high bar, and that’s by design. But the fact that there are people who now have told us that the president’s own cabinet thinks—thought that the 25th Amendment was a reasonable path, do you want to bring the cabinet in? Do you want to have a session—do you want to bring them into a closed session and under what the concerns are the president’s own cabinet thought that invoking the 25th Amendment might be necessary?
DURBIN: I would guess those who would attend would be former cabinet members the next morning. I don’t believe that you could make that appearance on Capitol Hill without eliminating the possibility that you’ll be part of this government going forward. And what a conversation. I don’t think anything is going to happen because of the high bar that is set by the 25th Amendment using that approach.
WALLACE: With men and women serving our country in the military, is it your obligation to find out what the cabinet was concerned about that they would go to the step of talking about the 25th Amendment?
DURBIN: Well, of course. I’m concerned, not just for the men and women in uniform, but for everyone in the country. This president is still the commander in chief. He has within his grasp the tools to really make life and death decisions, not just for the military, but for innocent people in the United States and around the world. So, yes, we need to take that seriously.
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