Less than 24 hours after announcing his intent to declare a national emergency in order to begin construction on a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, President Donald Trump made it official in a wildly incoherent Rose Garden address on Friday.
After initially riffing about China, Brexit, Syria, and North Korea, Trump got down to business...sort of. There was a lot of rambling nonsense.
“So I’m gonna be signing a national emergency,” Trump finally said. “And it’s been signed many times before!”
“There’s rarely been a problem,” Trump added. “They sign it! Nobody cares.”
“So we’ll see what happens. China’s coming here next week, by the way,” he interjected, before finally getting to the point:
So, we’re going to be signing, today, and registering national emergency. And, it’s a great thing to do, because we have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people. It’s unacceptable.
He also said, in a weirdly sarcastic tone, that he expected to be sued.
Trump’s declaration—which has prompted a round of lukewarm objections from congressional Republicans—follows weeks of bipartisan congressional negotiation on a deal to prevent another government shutdown. Notably, the deal gives the president $1.3 billion for border security instead of the $5.7 billion he requested for a wall. Given Trump’s plan to shuffle billions into his wall through the emergency declaration, however, Democrats might be wondering why they conceded to offering any money at all.
Trump’s national emergency order is virtually certain to face any number of protracted legal challenges; House Democrats are already preparing to vote on a motion against the order in Congress, and, failing that, take it to court if necessary—a likely outcome given the GOP’s control of the Senate.
After declaring his national emergency, the president is scheduled to fly to his private estate in Mar a Lago, Florida, where he will presumably spend the weekend golfing.
You can watch the president’s entire, rambling mess below:
Update, 11:15 a.m. ET: While Trump rambled, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared a picture of the president signing his national emergency:
Democrats were quick to respond to Trump’s announcement:
Update, 11:24 p.m. ET: The press conference is going great.