True to his (single) word, President Donald Trump on Friday issued his first veto against the recently passed congressional resolution opposing his emergency declaration to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. He could not do this without uttering multiple insensitive and racist statements following yesterday’s mosque attacks in New Zealand.
“Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it and I’m very proud to veto it,” Trump said, as Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William Barr, and the families of people killed by undocumented immigrants looked on.
Pence, in a particularly pathetic bit of sycophancy, told the president: “I don’t know that I’ve ever been more proud than to be standing next to you today.”
Unsurprisingly, Trump used the occasion to speak out of both sides of his mouth, pivoting from a condemnation of Friday morning’s terror attack against Muslim worshipers in New Zealand to using eerily similar rhetoric used by the alleged attacker to describe undocumented immigrants coming across American’s southern border.
“People hate the word invasion, but that’s what it is,” Trump said.
Then, moments later, Trump nevertheless insisted that there was no rise in white nationalism across the United States, attributing it simply to “a small group of people.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, however, the number of hate groups in America has risen steadily for four years in a row, with over 1,000 such active groups in 2018.
The House will reportedly vote to overturn Trump’s veto on March 26. If the House does manage to garner the two-thirds majority necessary, the veto override will then go to the Senate, where 12 Republican Senators joined Democrats to vote against Trump’s emergency declaration earlier this week.