Donald Trump claimed Sunday that Nancy Pelosi is not fit to serve as questions over her status as third-in-line to the presidency emerge after she formed a commission on removing from office presidents deemed unfit.
'I don't think she could pass basic aptitude test personally,' Trump told Fox News Sunday morning. 'I really don't, I don't believe it.'
The comments come as concerns from conservatives arise over the fact Pelosi could rise to power in the case of a contested election.
On Friday, Pelosi rolled out legislation to set up a commission under the 25th Amendment to weigh whether a president is incapacitated.
She claimed the move had nothing to do with potentially removing COVID-19-stricken President Donald Trump and having Vice President Mike Pence take over.
Donald Trump said during a phone interview Sunday that Nancy Pelosi is not fit to serve. 'I don't think she could pass basic aptitude test personally'
Pelosi announced Friday legislation that would form a commission on removing unfit presidents – but stressed the move was not directly related to Donald Trump or his coronavirus diagnosis
Section IV describes how the president can be removed from office if he is incapacitated and does not leave on his own.
The vice president and 'a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide' must write to both the president pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, saying that 'the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.'
The term principal officers of the executive departments would normally mean the cabinet secretaries.
So at least eight of the president's 15 most senior Cabinet members together with the vice president must agree that a president should be removed before any plan can move forward.
Notifying the House Speaker and the Senate president pro tempore is the act that immediately elevates the vice president to an 'acting president' role.
The deposed president can contest the claim, giving the leaders of the bloodless coup four days to re-assert their claims to the House and Senate.
Congress then has two days to convene – unless it is already in session – and another 21 days to vote on whether the president is incapable of serving. A two-thirds majority in both houses is required to make that determination.
As soon as there is a vote with a two-thirds majority, the president loses his powers and is removed, and the vice president stops acting and is sworn in as president.
But if 21 days of debate and votes ends without a two-thirds majority, the president gets back his powers.
The 25th Amendment allows Congress to appoint its own panel to evaluate the president instead of relying on the Cabinet – the men and women who work most closely with Trump – to decide on a course of action.
It specifies that some 'other body as Congress may by law provide' could play that role, but Pence would still need to agree with any finding that the president is incapable of discharging his duties.
Trump reiterated during his interview on 'Sunday Morning Futures' with Fox News' Maria Bartiromo that he believes Pelosi wants to set up the commission to prepare for replacing Joe Biden with the much more progressive option, vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, should they win in November.
'I think she's talking about Joe Biden, because, to be honest with you, he's the one that's got the problem,' Trump said of Pelosi's comments Friday when announcing the commission.
'It's obvious to anybody that watches him speak. He's the one that has the problem. And they want to put a super radical left person in, like Kamala, who's worse than – who's further left than Bernie Sanders,' he continued.
He added: 'A lot of people think that she's talking