“I Didn’t Need to Do This”: Trump Uses Emergency Declaration Speech to Make Case Against Himself

Merriam-Webster defines an emergency as an “unforeseen” event that requires “immediate action.”

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

President Donald Trump used the speech announcing his decision to invoke emergency powers to fund border wall construction to strengthen the legal arguments against that decision. “I didn’t need to do this,” Trump said Friday about the emergency declaration, “but I’d rather do it much faster.”

Trump’s remarks seem almost certain to appear in a lawsuit challenging his decision to use emergency powers to access the wall money that Congress has refused to provide. They were certainly appreciated by Omar Jadwat, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project:

George Conway, the husband of White House senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway and a vocal Trump critic, also highlighted Trump’s claim:

Trump also said, “I made a deal…but I’m not happy with it,” making clear that he sees the emergency declaration as a way to get around Congress. Jadwat tweeted that admission as well.  

Trump predicted that his administration will be sued in the progressive Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and potentially get two unfavorable rulings from lower courts before the case reaches the Supreme Court. Trump is hopeful that the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold his emergency declaration like it did with his travel ban. Presidents have expansive emergency powers and there is reason to believe the Supreme Court will defer to Trump.

 

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate