While speaking to the press in the White House Rose Garden on Friday, President Donald Trump admitted he didn’t actually need to declare a national emergency on the southern border to secure funding for his long-promised border wall, suggesting he’s only doing so because it’s the “faster” option.
NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander reminded the president that in 2014, he told Fox & Friends that former president Barack Obama could be impeached for supposedly abusing his constitutional authority by using executive orders to enact his immigration agenda.
Alexander also noted that by signing Congress’ latest bipartisan border security deal, which approved nearly $1.4 billion out of the more than $5 billion he demanded for border spending, he’d be getting less money than he would’ve gotten if he accepted the deal that was presented to him in December before the government’s recent shutdown.
“The primary fight was on the wall,” the president began. “Everything else we have so much as I’ve said, I don’t know what to do with it, we have so much money. But, on the wall, they skimped.”
“I was successful, in that sense, but I want to do it fast,” he continued. “I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”
In a comment that you can bet is going to be cited in lawsuits against this national emergency, Trump admits, "I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster." pic.twitter.com/FD0m1aHQcZ
— David Mack (@davidmackau) February 15, 2019
In response to Trump’s admission, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter tweeted, “The goal is to get Trump’s stupidest voters to say “HE’S FIGHTING!” No he’s not. If he signs this bill, it’s over.”
The goal is to get Trump's stupidest voters to say "HE'S FIGHTING!" No he's not. If he signs this bill, it's over. https://t.co/6DQSkqxV8h
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 15, 2019
“[Keep] talking mr president,” tweeted Omar C. Jadwat, director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, directly after tweeting the quote about Trump not needing to make the declaration.
“‘I didn’t need to do this’ is kind of the ballgame [in my opinion],” tweeted the Huffington Post’s Matt Fuller.
This quote should be the first sentence of the first paragraph of every complaint filed this afternoon. https://t.co/ClHQhpTaEe
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) February 15, 2019
“This quote should be the first sentence of the first paragraph of every complaint filed this afternoon,” tweeted George Conway—husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.