The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Trump wants to protect Article XII of the Constitution

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A story elsewhere in the Post reports on a meeting today between Donald Trump and Republican members of the U.S. Senate. The whole article is well worth reading. True to form, Trump was combative and insulting to the Senators themselves.

But here’s the most remarkable passage:

The most charitable reading would be that Trump heard the question about “Article I powers” as really asking about “rights protected by the First Amendment.” On that account, we now have insight into Trump’s constitutional views. Trump apparently is a strong defender of the procedures for the selection of the President and Vice-President by the Electoral College, which is what the Twelfth Amendment provides.

On the other hand, the more natural reading is what a lot of us suspected already: Donald Trump doesn’t know what is in the Constitution, and he doesn’t care that he doesn’t know. Article I, Article II, Article XII, Article L. Whatevs. Trump is just bluffing his way through this, hoping that enough people don’t notice or care. Because if he can get himself elected, he can exercise all the damn Article XII powers he wants.