White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday attempted to clean up a remark from President Trump during his national emergency declaration.
During his announcement, Trump said he “didn’t have to do this,” a line critics predicted would end up in lawsuits against the action. Sanders tried to clarify the comment by arguing Trump “shouldn’t have to do this.”
“I think the biggest thing is he shouldn’t have to do this,” she told Fox News Friday afternoon. “Congress should have stepped up and done their job and done everything necessary to fully and safely secure the border. The President could have waited and he could have drug this out.”
“The bill allows for 55 new miles of wall, which is a great step forward and it is certainly a down payment on the wall, but it doesn’t finish the job,” she continued. “The President is somebody who wants to complete the job he want to finish the job. … He doesn’t want to drag this out over the next several year. He wants to get the funding now so he can stop this national security and humanitarian crisis at the border and take care of it.”
Press Sec: Trump "shouldn't have to do this" pic.twitter.com/s5KL4FRiWx
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 15, 2019
During his remarks in the Rose Garden on Friday, Trump acknowledged the bipartisan spending bill gives him some of the funding he wants for his border wall, but said that amount wouldn’t get his pet project completed fast enough.
“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.”
Critics have seized on those remarks, suggesting it will be the basis of any legal challenged he faces for using an national emergency declaration to secure funding for his wall.