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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Trump, Russia, and the Oath of Office

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's place in the American constitutional system.  His response to the Russia indictment -- which spelled out a cyber-attack on American democracy -- was not to plan a tough response or improve our defenses.  Instead, he faulted the FBI for spending too much time on the issue.


Article 2, Section 1, Clause 8 of the Constitution spells out the presidential oath: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Arguably, his failure to react to the attack is a violation of this oath.

But he is also breaking his oath on an even deeper level.

Madison wrote that the stability of the constitutional order depended on the veneration of its institutions "without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability."

Trump routinely attacks anything or anyone who gets in his way -- including Congress, the courts, and public servants. And his constant lying undermines respect for the presidency.

He is not preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution.

He is damaging and deserting it.