White House trade adviser Peter Navarro continued his reputation for saying outrageous things on Sunday, claiming “the Lord” created executive orders to cut through partisanship and calling Donald Trump the “hardest-working president in history” when confronted on Trump’s latest golf weekend.
Amid stalled coronavirus relief negotiations between Democrats, Republicans, and the White House, the president issued a series of executive actions and memos from his New Jersey golf club this weekend. The potentially illegal orders Trump signed reduces the unemployment benefit bonus to $400 a week, requires states to fund 25 percent, provinces a payroll tax holiday, and calls for a continued eviction moratorium.
Appearing on NBC News’ Meet the Press to defend the president’s orders, Navarro was asked by host Chuck Todd whether he’s confident that the orders will stand up to legal scrutiny since Congress is the branch tasked with budgetary powers.
“Well, one of the things I learned here, Chuck, at the White House going through a lot of work on executive orders is what we have the statutory authorities to do, and I’m confident that every single one of those orders which cleared through the office of legal counsel will stand up,” Navarro declared, adding that the orders deliberately included non-decisive language.
The Trump aide then shifted course and laid blame for the stalled negotiations at Democrats’ feet, taking personal potshots at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while suggesting Democrats purposely want a coronavirus relief package to fail.
“The question the president has is whether the Democrats really are sincere when they come to the table, and I’m not sure,” he huffed. “It doesn’t help when Speaker Pelosi goes out after every day, with her scarves flying and just beats the heck out of us for being cruel people.”
Todd, meanwhile, followed up by pressing Navarro on the president’s own role in the failed negotiations.
“Where is the president? Why was he at his golf club all weekend?” Todd wondered aloud. “Why isn’t he negotiating? Look, I understand you guys don’t like each other, that Nancy Pelosi and the president — where is he? Why isn’t he involved?”
“You have to understand this is the hardest-working president in history,” Navarro shot back. “He works 24/7.”
After that bit of obsequiousness, Navarro insisted the real problem is “the swamp” in Washington before heaping praise on executive orders—a tool the president had previously derided when used by his predecessor.
“The Lord and the Founding Fathers created executive orders because of partisan bickering and divided government,” Navarro exclaimed. “That’s what we have here, but the president has taken action.”
“His constituency is mainstream Republicans and blue-collar Democrats and independents who are sick and tired of the swamp and he reached out and he took action,” he added. “He didn’t have to — he could have just let this keep going, and he did not. He took action, action, action, and action.”