Aug 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Navarro defends executive orders, calls Trump "hardest-working president in history"

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro defended President Trump on Sunday for spending the weekend at his golf club in New Jersey and signing executive orders in the absence of a congressional deal on coronavirus aid, calling him the "hardest-working president in history."

Why it matters: Trump has received bipartisan pushback and allegations of executive overreach for the orders, which include an extension of extra unemployment benefits. Democratic leaders have called for Republicans to return to the table and compromise, but there remains a trillion-dollar gap in the size of the package that each side is seeking.

  • Trump was a fierce critic of executive orders during the Obama administration, tweeting at one point that they were "major power grabs of authority."
  • Navarro argued on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "the Lord and the founding fathers created executive orders because of partisan bickering and divided government."

The exchange:

CHUCK TODD: "Where is the president? Why was he at his golf club all weekend? Why isn't he negotiating?"
NAVARRO: "You have to understand this is the hardest-working president in history. He works 24/7. He could be in Bedminister, Mar-a-Lago, the Oval Office or anywhere in between. He can be at the Whirlpool factory like we were Thursday, celebrating working men and women benefitting from tariffs. He's working 24/7. The problem here is Capitol Hill, the Swamp."

Go deeper: Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department

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