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Trump falsely claims in speech that Constitution gives him ‘the right to do whatever I want’

President Trump during a speech Tuesday.Alex Brandon/Associated Press/Associated Press

Donald Trump believes being president means he has the right to do what whatever he wants. That’s the message he delivered — not for the first time — on Tuesday while addressing a crowd of teenagers and young adults at the Turning Point USA Teen Student Action Summit in Washington.

There are numerous viral video clips from Trump’s 80-minute speech at the conference, but one of the most interesting bits came as he discussed Article II of the U.S. Constitution, which describes the powers of the president.

‘‘Then, I have an Article II, where I have to the right to do whatever I want as president,’’ he said. ‘‘But, I don’t even talk about that.’’


Trump appears to be discussing Article II of the Constitution, which at no point indicates that the president has the power to what he or she chooses. As The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake notes, this is not the first time Trump has made such an assertion about ‘‘Article II,’’ typically in the context of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election led by former special counsel Robert Mueller.

Speaking to ABC in June about allegations that Trump wanted to fire Mueller, the president said, ‘‘Article II allows me to do whatever I want. Article II would have allowed me to fire him.’’

Earlier this month, Trump again mentioned ‘‘a thing called Article II.’’

‘‘Nobody ever mentions Article II. It gives me all of these rights at a level nobody has ever seen before. We don’t even talk about Article II,’’ he said.