As the majority of the voting public still reels from having a president elected with more than 2.37 million less votes than his competitor, Keith Olbermann believes that this is not a result that absolutely must be accepted as final.
In fact, Olbermann points to what he calls the “crazy-man clause” in the U.S. Constitution, section four of the 25th Amendment, as a way to bar Trump from actually entering the highest office in the land.
‘In the case of Trump, it presumes he behaves as president as he is behaving as president-elect. For my money, he’s nuts – couldn’t pass a sanity test, open book.’
Olbermann’s logic here is not difficult to follow. Considering Trump’s actions in less than a month since the election, it is easy to understand why many voters feel that Trump is not fit to take office. His late-night rants on Twitter, his insistence upon using the presidency as a way to increase his personal businesses’ bottom lines, and his deeply concerning cabinet picks all indicate that Trump is less than capable of performing the duties of a job he already seems to be woefully unprepared to perform.
However, Donald Trump does not have to be diagnosed with any specific mental illness for the 25th Amendment to apply.
‘But of course, Section Four of the 25th Amendment here does not say “nuts” – or impaired, or erratic or unbalanced or unhealthy or bipolar or narcissist or sociopath or psychopath. It only says “that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”‘
Even before the segment aired, Olbermann’s claim had already been fact-checked by Snopes.com, who did the research to verify whether or not the U.S. Congress really could simply declare Trump unfit to serve as president. The idea was first proposed by reporter Ann-Derrick Gaillot before Trump was elected, which spurred the fact-check.
‘Ratified and adopted in 1967 following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 25th Amendment lays out the rules of succession in the case of a president’s death, resignation, removal, or incapacitation. The key part of the 25th Amendment for a Trump presidency is Section Four, which gives the vice president, backed by the majority of the executive cabinet, the power to declare the president unable to serve and assume the role of acting president. In such a case, we would all be waving bye-bye to President Trump and hello to President Mike Pence.’
Snopes determined the claim to be absolutely true.
For Keith Olbermann’s full segment exploring the possibility of removing Trump from office, see video below:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube