Amid the bizarre calvacade of lies, false assertions, exploitive tropes, and sing-song explanations of the likely legal battle to come over his national emergency declaration on Friday morning at the White House, President Donald Trump let one little thing—obvious to many—slip.
“I didn’t need to do this,” Trump declared – a central admission in which he further explained that he just wanted his wall, which Congress has repeatedly and in a bipartisan manner refused to fund, “faster” than the legislative process will allow. A very strange thing to say about an emergency.
Watch Trump admit that this is a fake national emergency: "I didn't need to do this" pic.twitter.com/bakRPtmeIM
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) February 15, 2019
As Aaron Blake at the Washington Post wrote in response: “If it’s truly an emergency, how can you say you didn’t need to declare an emergency? Trump basically admitted that this was a choice for him — a matter of expediency, quite literally — and not something required by events on the ground.”
Meanwhile, what the president’s many critics have argued is that the president has created a #FakeNationalEmergency in order to grab by fiat something he could not achieve through constitutional or legal means.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) noted:
“I didn’t need to do this” is admitting this isn’t an emergency at all.
“I didn’t need to do this” means he’s faking a crisis. https://t.co/TVqp0z4EHI
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 15, 2019