President Donald Trump’s Former National Security Advisor Tom Bossert said President Trump should transfer power to Vice President Mike Pence if he required additional oxygen, which we now know he did.

Key Facts

“The mark that we should all be looking to is, if his condition deteriorates to the point where he needs to be put on oxygen, or god forbid be intubated…I’d advise him to write that letter giving Mike Pence temporary authority to act as president,” Bossert said Friday on ABC Live.

Apart from being National Security and counterterrorism advisor, Bossert acted as National Continuity Coordinator, whose responsibility it is to ensure continuity across all three branches of government in any circumstance.

Though his doctors said during a press conference Trump was “doing great,” it was revealed Saturday that Trump was given supplemental oxygen before being flown to Walter Reed Hospital Friday for treatment after being diagnosed with the coronavirus, and that the next 48 hours are critical to his recovery. 

Bossert said Pence, who is next in the line of succession, should “sit himself down somewhere he’s not exposed,” despite his instinct to act as a surrogate for Trump on the campaign trail, adding the Vice President “has a larger obligation to the Constitution.”

Pence has said he will continue to hit the campaign trail while Trump recovers from the virus.

Key Background

If the President is unable to perform his duties as president he can invoke the 25th amendment to the constitution and temporarily transfer power to the Vice President. Trump would have to write a letter to the Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and president pro tempore of the Senate, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) officially transferring power to Pence, and write another letter once he feels he is well enough to retake the office. Should a president die while in office the line of succession begins with the vice president, then Speaker of the House of Representatives, then the Senate president pro tempore followed by members of the cabinet.

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