He announced the move in what has now become a characteristic fashion: With a brash and unapologetic press conference larded with falsehoods and foofaraw. Given that the legal and political battle over Trump's emergency declaration – and the broader immigration issue – will dominate the Washington for weeks, I thought it made sense to go through the transcript of what Trump said in his press conference.
Below, my thoughts on the lines you need to see
1. "We have a lot of great announcements having to do with Syria and our success with the eradication of the caliphate, and that will be announced over the next 24 hours."
And we go
2. "A lot of positive things are going on."
Hard to argue! Many other things!
So, the president is declaring a national emergency because it is a promise, "we have to do it," not because he said we had to do it on the campaign trail. But ask yourself this: If it was such an emergency, why did Trump wait more than two years into his term to declare it one?
4. "You look at other economies, they're doing terribly, and we're doing phenomenally."
Other economies: Bad. Our economy: Good.
5. "We ̵
Trump is talking specifically about the stock market here, although this also works as a nice stock quote for, well, anything he is asked about as it relates to either himself or his presidency. Best ever! Record-breaking!
"When you look and when you listen to politicians, in particular certain Democrats, they say it all comes through the port of entry."
8." It's Just A Lie. " "They say walls do not work. Walls work 100%."
The border wall between Israel and Egypt is 150 miles long. They are 99.9% effective, they tell me – 99.9%. The US border with Mexico is 2,000 miles long. Apples, please meet oranges.
12. "It's a big lie. It's a big con game."
Trump is talking specifically about the border here. But again, this statement is also a decent stand-in for his worldview : Everyone is lying to you and trying to screw you. Everybody but me.
"From 1977 or so, it gave the presidents the power."
The issue here is not whether Trump can declare a national emergency at the border (" he can!) but whether it qualifies as an actual national emergency. If it does not, it sets a huge precedent for the executive branch to seize power from the legislative branch
15. "It's a very good emergency that [Obama] signed, and we're going to use parts of it in our dealings on cartels."
Is not this an argument against the necessity of the wall? If Trump is doing such an amazing job at the border, could one think a wall was unnecessary?
Again, the contradiction here is startling. On the one hand, Trump wants to make clear that he is doing a better job than any other president ever on immigration (and everything else). On the other hand, he wants to make excuses for why he has not been able to get it all done. But he just said he did better than any other president!
18. "I was a little new to the job, a little new to the profession, and we had a little disappointment for the first year and a half. People who should have stepped up did not step up. they would have. "
Important thing to remember always about Trump: Nothing is ever his fault.
19. He is the undeserving victim of other peoples' evil, incompetence or both. "We are now in construction with walls in some of the most important areas, and we have renovated a tremendous amount of wall, making it just as new."
This sentence is 65 words long. Ernest Hemingway would not be pleased
21. "I am always prepared."
[nods head slowly]
Trump claims here that he spoke to a number of generals who told him that they they were fine with the money allocated by the Congress for the military to build the wall because the wall is more important than anything they could do with that money. Trump never names these generals who loved the idea of building the wall using military funds. Maybe they exist! Also, maybe they do not!
"You know, I'm a big deficit believer and all of that, but before we really start focusing on certain things, we have to build our military."
"Come on, ABC – not much, pretty close."
ABC> NBC. But, IT'S CLOSE!
When you do national emergency, you do not get sued usually. Everybody knows this about national emergency. Of course, past presidents did national emergency when there was a national emergency.
"So I think what will happen is sadly we will be sued, and sadly it will go through a process and happily we'll win, I think."
Sad, sad, then happy !!!
"I got almost $ 1.4 billion when I was not supposed to get $ 1 – not $ 1."
Yet another example of utter contradictions at the heart of Trump. He refused to concede that he came out on the losing end of the compromise that emerged out of Congress. But if that was true, then why did he need to declare a national emergency to get the $ 3.6 billion in military funding? Answer: It's not true.
"I could do the wall over a longer period of time, I did not have to do that, but I'd rather do it much faster."
30" I do not have to do it for the election. . "I love the tariffs, but I also love them to negotiate."
Tariffs are great! Negotiating is also great!
"The USMCA from Mexico – that's the United States, Mexico, Canada – that's where the money comes from, not directly, but indirectly, for the wall."
32. "Now, I do politics."
"Now I do politics." – The President of the United States
" [narrator voice] He did not.
34." I did not have a lot of money, and I built a lot of wall. " "Where a bad person comes in, he brings 22 or 23 or 35 of his family members because he has his mother, his grandmother, his sister, his cousin, his uncle. They're all in."
Donald Trump likes Rush Limbaugh because Limbaugh can speak for three hours straight. So, there's that.
I tell you, definitively, how Trump feels about Ann Coulter. ] "I really have a couple of people on CNN that have been very good."
Two things here: 1) Trump says he never watches CNN 2) Trump defines "very good" as "they say nice things about me. "
39. "Because your question is a very political question, because you have an agenda, you are CNN, you are fake news, you have an agenda."
But you were just saying such nice things! I thought we had something! Something real!
Trump does not accept stats about border crossing or ports of entry that are provided by his administration. So, what stats does he accept? He does not say
41. "You have stats that are far worse than those I use, but I use many stats, but I also use Homeland Security."
[looks vacantly into space]
"When I came into the office, I met right in the Oval Office with President Obama, and I sat in those beautiful chairs."
Glad he remembers the chairs. So beautiful!
"I think he would have gone to war with North Korea."
Wait, he was ready to go to war, and he said he was so close to starting a big war with North Korea. , with former President Barack Obama telling Trump he was planning a "big" war against North Korea? Interesting! I am sure that conversation happened exactly as Trump said it did!
44. "Prime Minister Abe of Japan gave me the most beautiful copy of a letter that he sent to the people who gave a thing called the Nobel Prize."
45. "That's OK, they gave it to Obama, he did not even know what he got for." He was there for about 15 seconds, and he got the Nobel Prize. "
Trump views himself – even now as president – as the guy looking out from the outside at the exclusive club that will not let him in. And he hates it. It drives the tremendous resentment and bitterness of her harbors to the so-called "elites."
46. "Nobel Prize."
Nobel Prize. Letter. Beautiful. Five pages. Letter. Beautiful. Nobel Prize
"Obama administration could not have done it."
So true. And, no, I'm not sure what Trump is referencing here. But, he did it. And Obama did not. It feels like a good place to end