The Latest: Biden signals limit on executive authority use

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President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event to announce his choice of retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense, at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON – The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

Joe Biden has suggested he can’t go as far with executive authority as some of his most vocal supporters would like, declaring that he won’t violate the Constitution in a leaked recording of his call with civil rights leaders.

Audio from the private call on Tuesday was obtained by The Intercept. Biden is urged to use executive action to promote police reform and is heard promising to use his presidential power to overturn “every single damn thing” that President Donald Trump did via executive action.

But, he added, “I am not going to violate the Constitution. Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bounds.” He cited the specific example of assault-style weapons, saying it’d be unconstitutional to ban them with executive action.

The president-elect also suggested that promoting police reform could hurt Democrats in two special Senate elections next month in Georgia, saying, “I don’t think we should make that a big issue.”

A Biden transition spokesperson says, “President-elect Biden is the same person behind closed doors that he is in public; honest, direct and realistic.”