Trump Announces National Emergency Declaration To Fund His Wall

February 15, 2019 10:56 a.m.

President Trump announced on Friday he would declare a national emergency to get funding for his border wall, in order to fulfill a campaign promise that prompted the President to force a month-long government shutdown when he couldn’t get a deal through Congress.

“So we’re going to be signing today and registering national emergency and it’s a great thing to do,” he said. “Because we have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people and it’s unacceptable. And by signing the national emergency, something signed many times by other presidents, many, many times, President Obama, in fact, we may be using one of the national emergencies that he signed having to do with cartels. It’s a very good emergency that he signed.”

Making the declaration in the Rose Garden at the White House on Friday, Trump — who delayed the announcement by 30 minutes — meandered his way through a list of his administration’s accomplishments before finally addressing border security and the perceived “crisis” he believes exists at the southern border.

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Raising a familiar series of talking points, he harped on the amount of drugs and sex traffickers flowing in through the southern border; the effectiveness of the border wall in El Paso, Texas; the Democrats’ “con game”; and abstract “caravans” before he finally announced his intentions. He claimed the U.S. would “make up for the cost of the wall” by being able to remove military personnel from the border.

He confirmed the declaration will give him $8 billion for the border wall, but suggested the emergency declaration was simply a way to get his vanity project completed quicker.

“But I want to do it faster,” he said. “I can do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this. I would rather do it much faster.”

He then said he would sign the final papers as soon as he returned to the Oval Office, before launching into a sing-songy spiel about all of the legal challenges he anticipates the emergency declaration will face.

Critics believe Trump is using the national emergency as a means to appease his conservative base who are upset that he intends to sign a compromise funding bill that includes only a fraction of the $5.7 billion in border wall money he initially demanded, which originally forced the government into shutdown.

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