Because Congress voted not to give President Donald Trump the money he campaigned on getting from Mexico, to build Trump Wall on our southern border, a national emergency was declared Friday morning.
At a Rose Garden presser, Trump unveiled his plan to do an end run around Congress and unlock money to build his signature border wall .
“We’re going to be signing today a national emergency” he announced in a Rose Garden presser, calling it “a great thing to do” he said, citing what he says is an infestation of drugs, gangs and people over the southern border.
“I’m going to be signing a national emergency. It’s been signed many times before by other presidents, from 1977 or so, gave presidents the power. It was rarely a problem when they signed it – nobody cared. For far less important things, in many cases,” he complained.
Before the presser, some TV news pundits suggested Trump is playing his base and to the pundits they follow on Fox News Channel and elsewhere.
Asked if Sean Hannity influenced his decision to declare a state of emergency to fund Trump Wall , Trump said, “Sean Hannity has been a terrific supporter of what I do, not of me. If I changed my view he wouldn’t be with me.”
Trump then began, unsolicited, to give a worth-millions shout out to Fox News Channel’s primetime stars, saying “Laura [Ingraham] has been great, Tucker Carlson has been great.”
But special praise was reserved for Rush Limbaugh, who he called “a great guy” with an extraordinary talent in that he can “speak three hours without a phone call.”
“He’s got one of the biggest audiences in history of the world,” Trump raved. “Try speaking for three hours without taking calls! And he’s got an audience that’s fantastic.”
Trump continued on this favorite topic: “I actually have a couple people on CNN that have been great,” he beamed. “Someone on MSNBC the other day did a great report on me; I said, ‘Where the hell did that come from?!’ I think it was the only one in over a year.”
Trump also said nice things about Ann Coulter but said he had not spoken to her in well over a year because “I just don’t have the time to speak to her,” also saying of Coulter “she’s off the reservation.”
Trump insisted, the face of fact, that the counter is suffering an invasion of “drugs, human traffickers, all kinds of criminals and gangs.” He also claimed illegal border crossings are way up and US prisons are filled mostly with illegal immigrants. CNN noted 80.7% of inmates are American citizens, citing as its source the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
He then took a question of CNN’s Jim Acosta, whose White House press credentials Trump recently tried to yank, and which CNN challenged in court.
Acosta asked Trump where he’s getting his data to support his invasion claims, noting Homeland Security data reports record low border crossing, and asked what Trump would say to those who insist he’s concocting a national emergency with inaccurate data.
“Ask the Angel Moms,” Trump shot back. Trump’s team had brought some of the so-called “Angel Moms” which is his admiistration’s name for mothers of people killed by illegal immigrants.
“Your question is a very political question, because you have an agenda,” Trump blasted in Acosta’s direction. “You’re Fake News….It’s a fake question.”
Acosta again asked Trump to clarify where he’s getting his stats, which are so at odds with data provided by various government agencies, also including the Drug Enforcement Agency.
“I get my numbers from a lot of sources, Homeland Security…And the numbers are a disaster,” Trump insisted.
After the presser, Acosta did a report from the Rose Garden in which he interviewed one of the mothers, who said Trump is right and the border must be secured. Acosta told her CNN is not trying to “diminish what they gone through.”
The spending deal reached by lawmakers this week fell well short of the $5.7 billion POTUS had demanded to build Trump Wall. Trump threw out several numbers as being the amount he intended to pull from various pots, all higher than $5.7B.
Democrats already had announced they would challenge Trump’s move.
Congress’s latest appropriations bill gave him $1.375B to build barriers along the border, but not his wall.
ABC News was first to report Trump would announce he’s yanking:
- $600 million from the Treasury Department’s drug forfeiture fund
- $2.5 billion in Defense Department’s drug interdiction program
- $3.5 billion from the Defense Department military construction budget
The first two could be accomplished via executive action, the last would require POTUS to declare national emergency.
This realigning of Constitutional system, which states the power of purse belongs to Congress, is going to make Apprentice star Donald Trump plenty unhappy, the reality TV star having tweeted “Republicans must not allow Pres. Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/Congress.”
At his presser, Trump said he was sure the issue would make its way to the Supreme Court.
Courts are expected to consider why Trump waited so long to declare a national state of emergency; Dems have questioned why he didn’t make the move when he controlled both the House and the Senate and it would have been a walk in the park.
Trump was ready for that one:
“I’m learning,” he said at the presser, adding, “I’ve never done politics,” and that he was “very disappointed” with several people “particularly one.”
Asked if that one was former House Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump responded, “Let’s not talk about it. What difference does it make? They should have done it faster, pushed harder, and they did not.”