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Iowa U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley on Wednesday criticized comments made by former President Donald Trump calling for the “termination” of election rules in the U.S. Constitution.
Grassley said Trump’s idea was unconstitutional.
“It doesn't matter whether the former president said this, or anybody else said it in regard to suspending the Constitution, it's unconstitutional,” he said on a call with reporters.
Trump, who is running for president in 2024, posted the comments on his social media app Truth Social after writer Matt Taibbi published internal Twitter emails, provided by the company under new owner Elon Musk, that had to do with President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign and a New York Post story involving his son, Hunter Biden.
Trump said the story revealed the Democratic Party was “working closely with Big Tech companies.”
“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” he said in the post, repeating an unproven claim of fraud in the 2020 election.
According to Taibbi, both Biden’s campaign and the Trump White House made requests for content to be removed and had the requests honored.
‘Come to Iowa’
Grassley did not say how the suggestion affects his perception of Trump’s presidential run, but he has kept his distance from the former president since Trump announced he’d seek the office a third time.
"As we look to the next election, Iowa will continue to host the first-in-the-nation caucuses on the Republican side, and we encourage all candidates to come to Iowa and make their pitch directly to voters,” a Grassley spokesperson said after Trump announced his candidacy in November.
Biden’s White House criticized Trump’s statement over the weekend. In a statement to multiple media outlets, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates saying it was “anathema to the soul of our nation and should be universally condemned.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the results of the 2022 election show Americans are not in favor of Trump’s unfounded denial of the 2020 election results.
“They oppose the way that Republicans have talked about this,” she said. “They oppose the violent rhetoric that extreme MAGA officials have engaged in. And so we should listen to what the American people had to say just a couple of weeks ago.”
Grassley on Twitter
Grassley has criticized Twitter’s actions in the 2020 election and echoed some of the allegations made by Trump, saying the site engaged in censorship. He has led investigations tying Hunter Biden to business dealings in China.
The thread posted Friday details some internal Twitter communications about the decision to limit the sharing of a New York Post story published in October 2020, which the company flagged under its hacked materials policy.
Taibbi said the decision to limit the story’s reach was made within the company without government involvement.
In floor remarks Wednesday, Grassley said Musk’s release of the emails increased transparency on the site and that “accountability should follow.”
“The documents make clear that Twitter was effectively an arm of the Democratic Party and the Biden campaign,” he said. “Twitter essentially gave the Biden campaign a massive in-kind campaign contribution.”
Tom Barton of the Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau contributed to this report.