What did we just watch?
If you could decipher even half of what Trump said in his national emergency declaration speech Friday morning, well, congrats!
Trump's national emergency declaration was a roughly 25-minute-long unhinged rant, in which he interspersed dark and often false stories about crime at the border with braggadocios chatter about how the economy, stock market and relationships with other nations are doing so well under his watch.
Within his chaotic "remarks," Trump attempted to talk about how the wall will pay for itself, but he never actually explained how the wall will pay for itself —because he totally veered off course into defending Customs officers.
"We would be able to make up the cost of the wall just in the cost of the fact that I would be able to have fewer people, we wouldn't need all of this incredible talent some of whom are sitting in the first row," Trump said. "We would get thousands of law enforcement people including border patrol you put them in different areas doing different things."
"So, that's the story," Trump says at the end of that particular jag, never actually laying out how that pays for the wall.
Trump also went on an extended riff about how Chinese President Xi Jinping uses the death penalty to help combat a drug crisis, lamenting the fact that he doesn't have that tool at his disposal — despite having signed a criminal justice reform bill last year that lessened penalties for drug crimes.
"They're criminal list a drug dealer gets a thing called the death penalty. Our criminal list a drug dealer gets a thing called how about a fine?" Trump said, referring to China's efforts to combat drugs.
But the best of the bizarre moments may have come when Trump explained how the federal court system works, and how a likely lawsuit against his emergency declaration would play out.
In a sing-song voice, Trump said:
We will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn't be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling. and then we'll get another bad ruling.
And then we'll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we'll get a fair shake, and we'll win in the Supreme Court, just like the [travel] ban, they sued us in the 9th Circuit, and we lost, and then we lost in the appellate division, and then we went to the Supreme Court, and we won, and it was very interesting."
Trump later took questions after his emergency declaration speech, which were even more insane than the rambling speech he gave.
Aside from yelling at the press, he claimed that he didn't know racist right-wing pundit Ann Counter — one of his earliest and most fervent supporters.
"They have somebody, Ann Coulter. I don't know her," Trump said. "I hardly know her. I haven't spoken to her in way over a year."
He also helped opponents of the national emergency declaration build their case against him in the courts, saying the quiet part out loud: that the only reason he signed the declaration was because Congress didn't give him what he wanted in terms of border wall funding.
"I went through Congress and made a deal ... but I'm not happy with it," Trump said.
Later, Trump added that he "didn't need to do this," referencing the emergency declaration, but that he "just want to get it done faster, that's all."
You could almost hear the lawyers at the Department of Justice who will be forced to defend his emergency declaration screaming for it to end.
So, what did we learn from all of this?
It appears the biggest national emergency this country faces is having an unhinged Trump in the White House. SOS.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.