Saturday, 16 May 2020

White House: No, We Are NOT Making Any Plans For ‘President Pelosi’

Despite her position as third in line to the Oval Office, the White House is not making any plans to welcome in a “President Nancy Pelosi” in the event President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both become incapacitated and unable to carry out the duties of the presidency because of a coronavirus infection.
Trump critics have surfaced the scenario several times this month, perhaps secretly hoping that, after news spread of several coronavirus cases in close proximity to both Trump and Pence, a succession was possible. But White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany put a swift end to any anti-Trump fantasies Thursday afternoon.
“White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany revealed Thursday there is no procedure in place to facilitate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ascension to the presidency should President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence become incapacitated by the coronavirus,” according to Politico.
McEnany seemed annoyed by the mere question.
“That’s not even something that we’re addressing,” she said. “We’re keeping the president healthy. We’re keeping the vice president healthy. And you know they’re healthy at this moment, and they’ll continue to be.”
McEnany then criticized reporters for sounding gleeful at the possibility that the Speaker of the House could, at some point, end up in the White House: “The president’s healthy. The vice president’s healthy. And I think that’s something all reporters should be celebrating, and the American people, as well.”
That echoes President Trump’s thoughts on the matter from a press conference Monday. Trump said “President Pelosi” “would be a disaster.”
“Never going to happen,” he said. “We’ll keep our vice president very healthy, and I’ll stay healthy. Never going to happen.”
The president and vice president are both tested multiple times per week, the White House has said, using the Abbott rapid response test that returns results in around fifteen minutes (though the Abbott test has come under some scrutiny this week for regularly returning false negatives).
Last week, though, members of the vice president’s team tested positive for the novel coronavirus, leaving some in the White House concerned that the infection could spread among senior White House officials and others close to the president. The president’s office issued rules, earlier this week, requiring staffers in the West Wing to wear masks at all times, except during mealtimes and when working by themselves in their offices, Politico says.
Because of Pence’s close contact with the infected staffer, Trump and Pence are speaking only by phone.
Pelosi, of course, would only become president if both President Trump and Vice President Pence died or were somehow incapacitated to the degree that neither could adequately perform the duties of the office of the president. If the coronavirus were to take Pelosi out, too, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) would assume the office, as he is president pro tem of the Senate.
If a slew of federal legislators were somehow wiped out, the mantle then passes to members of the Cabinet, beginning with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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