On Wednesday, far right Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona), a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, expressed support on social media for Trump’s proposal to “terminate” the U.S. Constitution so that he can be reinstalled as president.
“I support and agree with the former president. Unprecedented fraud requires unprecedented cure,” Gosar wrote on Twitter, advancing debunked claims that fraud had affected the 2020 presidential election.
The tweet was later deleted, but not before the Republican legislator’s account liked and quoted several replies from users in support of his statement.
A spokesperson from Gosar’s office tried to claim that Gosar, whom he described as a “strict constitutionalist,” wasn’t expressing support for upending the constitution, as Trump had done over the weekend on his social media site Truth Social. Rather, the spokesperson said, Gosar was responding to a different set of Truth Social posts from Trump, made on Monday, which supposedly “clarified” the former president’s position.
However, those posts also peddled the debunked conspiracy theory that the 2020 election had been affected by fraud and similarly proposed “solutions” that would require dismantling or ignoring the rules laid out in the constitution in order to reinstate Trump as president.
The spokesperson for Gosar did not explain why the tweet from the congressman was deleted.
Trump’s original post on Saturday called for a new election or, failing that, his immediate reappointment as president. The former president was reacting to evidence from Twitter CEO Elon Musk that showed the company had restricted some content relating to President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, during the 2020 election season.
“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump said in the post.
After several legal experts, lawmakers and political pundits condemned Trump’s statement, the former president issued new posts on Monday claiming that “fake news” had misconstrued his comments. Still, Trump called for himself to be reinstated as president, a move that would be illegal and unconstitutional.
There is no evidence that fraud was responsible for Trump’s loss to Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
Republicans have been slow to respond to Trump’s calls to “terminate” the constitution. It took until Tuesday, for example, for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to issue a statement on the controversy. Without naming Trump specifically, McConnell said that any person running for president “would have a very hard time being sworn in” if they suggested that the constitution should be suspended.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California), the presumptive next Speaker of the House, has not commented on Trump’s posts on the constitution at all — an odd decision, given that McCarthy has tried to portray himself as a vigorous defender of the document.
Briefly before Trump suggested that the constitution should be terminated, McCarthy pledged that his party would read the constitution out loud on the first day of the new session of Congress, insinuating on Twitter that Democrats didn’t care about the nation’s highest governing document because they hadn’t read the document at the opening of new sessions in the recent past.
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