Trump threw a temper tantrum and declared a national emergency, after Congress refused to give him money for his unnecessary wall.
Trump on Friday declared a national emergency on the southern border, the culmination of an immature temper tantrum that he hopes will allow him to steal money from other areas of the federal government to fund his vanity border wall project that the public doesn't want and that Congress refused to appropriate money for.
"We're going to do it one way or the other, we have to do it. Not because it was a campaign promise ... [but] because we have tremendous amounts of drugs flowing into our country," Trump said in a rambling speech at the White House, one day after Congress rebuked him by appropriating just $1.375 billion for "pedestrian fencing" on a small area of the border — not a wall, and far less than the unrestricted $5 billion Trump had been demanding.
Trump's speech was a mess, as he rambled on about drugs and unsubstantiated stories of women being duct taped at the border, interspersed with incoherent asides.
"I'm going to be signing a national emergency," Trump finally managed to get out, going on to defend his action as something previous presidents have done.
But previous presidents have declared national emergencies for real emergencies like natural disasters — not to unilaterally reappropriate funds for a useless, years-long construction project that Congress rejected.
In a call with reporters before the speech, a senior administration official tried to claim that this emergency declaration wasn't really an attempt to circumvent Congress.
"it's not as if he didn't just get what he wanted so he's waving a magic wand and getting money," the senior administration official said on the call.
But when pressed on how that could be the case, the official had no good response — because, of course, this is exactly what Trump is trying to do. He didn't get what he wanted, and now he's trying to wave a magic wand of executive authority to ignore the Constitution and go over Congress' head.
Congress is expected to try to block Trump from reappropriating funds through executive order. The House will almost certainly vote to block Trump's order, and there's a good chance the Senate will, too — handing Trump yet another loss.
"They will win," lawyer George Conway, the outspoken Trump critic and husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, tweeted on Thursday — referring to the groups that will sue Trump over the emergency declaration.
Trump's schedule shows that after announcing the national emergency, he will have some down time before jetting down to his Mar-a-Lago resort with first lady Melania Trump.
Ah yes, a national emergency indeed.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.