Trump tells governors they'll be 'calling the shots' on easing coronavirus restrictions days after falsely claiming he has 'total' authority

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Associated Press

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • President Donald Trump on Thursday told governors they'll decide when to reopen the economy and ease coronavirus restrictions.
  • "You're going to be calling the shots. We'll be standing right alongside of you, and we're going to get our country open and get it working. People want to get working," Trump said during a phone call with governors.
  • Less than a week ago, Trump falsely claimed he has "total" authority over when to reopen the country as president. The Constitution says otherwise.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump on Thursday told governors he would not seek to force them to rapidly rescind coronavirus restrictions in order to stimulate the economy, and that such decisions would be left up to them at the state level.

This came just days after Trump falsely asserted he has "total" authority as president. Advertisement

"You're going to call your own shots," Trump told the governors in a phone call, according to a recording of the conversation obtained by the New York Times.

"You're going to be calling the shots. We'll be standing right alongside of you, and we're going to get our country open and get it working. People want to get working," Trump added.

While discussing his desire to see the country reopened for the sake of the economy on Monday, however, Trump said: "When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that's the way it's got to be."
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But the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution says otherwise: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

In short, the federal government (including the president) does not have limitless powers, and the 10th Amendment explicitly grants stants authority over powers not granted to the US government via the Constitution. States and local governments, for example, have control over public schools, which they own and operate. The president can therefore not order governors, mayors, or other local leaders to reopen them. As Trump on Thursday told governors that the timeline on when to ease restrictions will be left up to them, the White House released proposed guidelines for states to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. Advertisement

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