WASHINGTON, D.C. (NYJ)—President Barack Obama told reporters today that he will invoke a little-known executive order which allows him to stay in office indefinitely, denying president-elect Donald Trump the presidency.
“I cannot, in good conscience, cede the presidency to Donald Trump,” Obama said at a press conference. “As I said during the campaign, he is dangerous, and not the caliber of person we should have in office. I cannot allow him to have access to the nuclear codes, much less the economy. I am hereby declaring a state of national emergency, for the foreseeable future.”
Although the 22nd amendment of the U.S. Constitution limits a president’s terms to two, Executive Order 13603, the National Defense Resources Preparedness Order, allows a president to stay in office if a national emergency is declared. Obama issued the executive order in 2012.
Donald Trump, speaking to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower, said he and his team are mounting an immediate legal challenge. “We’re going to the courts,” he said. “And we’re going to win, hugely. And not only are we going to win, we’re going to have Obama and his people thrown in jail for a long, long time. Because this is illegal, an illegal act, he can’t do this. I won the election. Obama didn’t. I won by a really really big margin. I am president.”
Trump later clarified on Twitter: “We are going straight to the supreme court with this case and we’re going to have Obama thrown out of office, thrown in jail, believe me.”
Liberal lawmakers applauded Obama’s announcement. “We are overjoyed about this decision,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters. “We look forward to continued prosperity under President Obama, and are relieved to know we are safe from the threat posed by Donald Trump and his awful supporters. And no one will ever go to jail just for burning an American flag.” Pelosi, a liberal from San Francisco, was the first woman to serve as House majority leader, but was forced to step down when the Republican party regained control of the House of Representatives.