President Donald Trump on Monday asked the broadcast networks to clear 9 PM ET Tuesday, during which, based on his morning tweet, it is presumed he will make good on his threat to declare a state of national emergency to build his southern border wall.
Sean Hannity, aka Trump string puller, also “guessed” on his Monday radio program “he’s going to declare a national emergency.”
Trump said he had proudly shut down the government to extract border wall financing from Congress; the government shutdown has hit Week 3 with no end in sight. Declaring a national emergency allows Trump to thwart Congress and take money from the Department of Defense to finance the concrete wall he promised would be paid for by Mexico, which has morphed into a steel barrier financed by tax dollars.
“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern,” Trump tweeted of his announcement which will surely be covered by all the cable news networks:
The former NBC reality TV star had requested the broadcast networks clear their schedule for 8-minutes-ish to make his announcement. But, of course, the Democrats will want time to respond, making the amount of time lost to the broadcasters about half an hour.
broadcasters asked the White House for more information, though money had always been on all of them bowing to Trump’s request, given the nature of his expected move.
All of the broadcast networks are back in originals during primetime. At 9 PM ET Tuesday, ABC is scheduled to air new episode of black-ish at 9 PM, followed by Splitting Up Together.
CBS has an original FBI from 9-10 PM; NBC is airing a new episode of Ellen’s Game of Games in the hour. And Fox broadcast network has scheduled a new episode of The Gifted.
As with any previous POTUS, Trump could not force the broadcasters to turn over the airtime. And the networks say they make these calls based on the legitimacy and importance to the country of the information POTUS intends to convey.
Of course, no previous President has ever kicked off the day in which such a request was made, calling them a bunch of “crazed lunatics who have given up on the TRUTH!” and “knowingly lie and demean in order to make the tremendous success of the Trump Administration, and me, look as bad as possible.” So there is that:
Meanwhile, there is no clear legal history for what “national emergency” means and, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are likely to explain in any on-air response, the move is likely to be challenged in court. Trump’s detractors insist he is artificially creating this “emergency” to keep up an anti immigrant, xenophobic, they’re-coming-for-us-from-the-border position he’s espoused since the day he announced his candidacy, which has worked well to keep his base in line.
To that point, when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders touted Trump’s border wall talking point last Sunday on Chris Wallace’s Fox News Sunday Beltway show, saying roughly 4K “known or suspected terrorists” had come into our country illegally and that the “most vulnerable point of entry” is the southern border. Wallace shot her down, citing Trump’s State Department, which reported that almost all of those “suspected terrorists” were apprehended at airports. AIrports are more vulnerable since Trump’s government shutdown, due to TSA officers not being paid staging sick-outs.