Rep. Justin Amash did not endorse Donald Trump before the election and hasn’t hesitated to criticize the President-elect since.
When Trump suggested this week that those who burned the American flag should be imprisoned or stripped of their citizenship, the Republican replied with a Tweet.
Amash told the Huffington Post recently, “I’m not here to represent a particular political party; I’m here to represent all of my constituents and to follow the Constitution.”
On Friday, Amash told The Hill that he thought Trump might need a lesson on the Constitution.
The Hill reported, “The Michigan Republican, founder of the House Liberty Caucus, said he’s not sure if the billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star has ever read the founding document and suggested Trump doesn’t have a good grasp of Constitution 101.”
“He seems to believe that government works like a business and he is the CEO of the business, and that is not how it works,” Amash told The Hill on Friday. “We have separate branches, checks and balances, federalism.”
“I don’t think it’s out of any bad intention. I think he just views the job in a sort of ‘extra-constitutional’ way, outside of the Constitution,” said Amash. “I don’t think our framework in this country really comes into play when he’s thinking about how the job should operate.”
“Do you think Trump has read the Constitution?” a reporter asked.
“I don’t know,” Amash replied.
The libertarian-leaning Republican originally supported Sen. Rand Paul for president and even suggested recently that the Kentucky senator would be a good choice as the next Secretary of State.
Rep. Amash has not ruled out running for president himself in the future.
Amash also criticized Trump’s Carrier deal on Friday and its constitutional implications. The Hill reported:
It’s cronyism,” Amash told The Hill, echoing other conservative critics who have said such a deal amounts to the government picking winners and losers in violation of basic free-market principles.
We have a Constitution. The president doesn’t just get to do anything he wants. He has to work within the constitutional framework, regardless of why people elected him.
And deals like that hurt the people of Indiana; they don’t help the people of Indiana,” Amash added. “They redistribute resources and offer benefits to one company when another company down the road doesn’t get those same benefits. Sometimes competitors don’t get those same benefits.
“That’s just central planning,” Amash added. “That was tried in the Soviet Union. It didn’t work very well.”
Disclosure: I co-authored Senator Rand Paul’s 2011 book “The Tea Party Goes to Washington.”