Pure Unhinged Mania: How Trump Obliterated His Own Case for a National Emergency

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer have released a joint statement in response to the just-concluded press conference by Donald Trump to announce that he is declaring a national emergency to build a border wall. Pelosi and Schumer called the declaration unlawful, and they vowed that Congress will use their powers and the courts to stop it.

We will have coverage for the lawlessness of Trump’s declaration later today. But Donald Trump, in the very press conference meant to make the case for his emergency declaration, made it clear that it is not an emergency.

Bragging about success in controlling the border:

Donald Trump was caught between wanting to brag about what a good job he is doing at the border and his campaign promise to build a wall. At the press conference, he repeatedly said how his administration has been very very successful in stopping the flow of people and drugs, but then immediately complained how hard it is.

The problem is, if Trump is right and the border patrol for his administration has been successful in stopping the flow of drugs as well as that of people from crossing into the United States illegally, then no emergency exists. After all, the emergency would be, using his words, that people and drugs are pouring in uncotrollably and illegally and the current infrastructure is just not working to stop them.

Repeatedly declaring Congress has put in too much money for border security and the military:

“They have given me so much money I don’t know what to do with it” was a recurring theme (literally) throughout Trump’s bizarre, bumbling statement as well as the more bizarre, more unhinged Q&A session.

First, that Congress allocated too much money on something is neither an emergency nor a self-fulfilling exemptions from the Constitutional requirement that money be spent according to how Congress appropriates it, not how the executive feels it should be moved around.

Second, given that Trump is admitting that Congress allocated plenty of money on border security, leading to the administration being able provide the resources for the border patrol so well that according his other claims, they are having “tremendous” success in controlling the border, once again, there is no emergency.

Nail in the coffin: admitting he didn’t need to do it and that there is no time constraint on the wall:

Donald Trump literally said, “I could do [the wall] over a longer period of time”, and that he “didn’t need to do this”, but that he “want[ed] to do it faster.” Watch the clip:


He is admitting here that his personal failure to persuade Congress, not any events at the border, is the catalyst for this declaration. Unfortunately for Trump, that’s not an emergency, either.

This is, of course, nothing new. Trump waited more than two years of control of Congress by one’s own party, then waited through a 35 day shutdown, then awaited the completion of a Congressional negotiation process. Nevertheless, it was fascinating to watch him decimate his own case for a border emergency.

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