Trump Laments Troops at Border Can’t Get ‘Rough’ Because People Would ‘Go Crazy’

During a roundtable in Texas on Wednesday, President Donald Trumplamented that troops on the United States border can’t can’t get a little “rough.”

“You don’t need drones…but if you don’t have a wall it is never going to happen” Trump began.

He then said border people are “fantastic” before insisting he was going to have to call up more military.

Then the president said this: “Our military, don’t forget, can’t act like a military would act because if they got a little rough everybody would go crazy. So our military can’t act like they would normally act — or like, let’s say, another military from another country would act.”

The roundtable was held in San Antonio. Trump was joined by local officials and ranchers. Trump is also set to attend a second fundraiser in Houston on Texas. According to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel the two fundraisers are expected to raise $6 million.

[Mediaite]

Trump bizarrely claims ‘everybody is now acknowledging’ that he was ‘100 percent correct’ on the border

After claiming total exoneration on Russian collusion, President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed total vindication of his views of the southern border.

“Everybody is now acknowledging that, right from the time I announced my run for President, I was 100 percent correct on the border,” Trump argued.

“Remember the heat I took?” he asked.

“Democrats should now get rid of the loopholes. The border is being fixed. Mexico will not let people through!” he added.

[Raw Story]

Trump Takes Credit for Obama’s Border Wall

On Friday, President Donald Trump stood in front of recently-refurbished border wall along the California-Mexico border and boasted that it was the beginning of construction on the wall he promised voters in the 2016 campaign. And Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen installed commemorative plaque bearing Trump’s name last fall along that section of the fencing, declaring it “the first section of President Trump’s border wall.”

Except, wait: That particular section of wall was actually just a replacement of fence that had been there for decades. And the refurbishment was approved during the Barack Obama administration in 2009. The funding for Trump’s border wall, meanwhile, is still tied up in Congress.

“We just wanted to get out in front of it and let everybody know that this is a local tactical infrastructure project that was planned for quite some time,” David Kim, assistant chief patrol agent for the Border Patrol’s El Centro sector, told the Desert Sun, adding that he wanted to ensure “there is no confusion about whether… this is tied to some of the bigger immigration debates that are currently going on.”

A recent federal court victory allowed the Trump administration to move forward with replacing the fencing thanks to a federal ruling allowing them to bypass environmental laws to speed construction. And the president boastfully tweeted about it recently, again claiming it was part of “the Wall.”

It’s a classic Trumpian move: claim credit for something that was actually President Obama’s doing. He’s done it with the economy and jobs, and now with the border wall.

[Rolling Stone]

Trump tells Legal Hispanic immigrants seeking asylum: ‘Our country is full’

Donald Trump had a unwelcoming message to those seeking political asylum in the United States: Don’t bother.

“Our country is full,” Trump said at an event in Calexico, Calif., to promote construction of a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. “Our area is full. The sector is full. Can’t take you anymore, I’m sorry. Can’t happen. So turn around, that’s the way it is.”

Trump described his remarks as “our new statement,” and said it applied to asylum seekers as well as immigrants crossing the border illegally.

“If you look at our southern border, the number of people and the amount of drugs, human trafficking — the human trafficking is something that nobody used to talk about, I talk about it. It’s a terrible thing. It’s ancient and it’s never been bigger than it is modern, right now, today. All over the world, by the way, not just here. All over the world, human trafficking, a terrible thing.”

According to figures provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials the number of people arrested for illegally crossing the border rose from 47,986 in January to 66,450 in February. Families, many traveling from Central American countries, made up more than half of those numbers, CBP said.

While arrests of criminal aliens have continued to fall the past two years, Trump assured his audience that “there is indeed an emergency on our southern border.”

“It’s a colossal surge,” Trump said of the migrant caravans from Central America, “and it’s overwhelming our immigration system. We can’t take you anymore.”

Specifically, Trump singled out those seeking asylum, saying that a large number of them were gang members.

“It’s a scam. It’s a hoax,” Trump said. “I know about hoaxes. I just went through a hoax,” which is how he refers to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of his campaign’s ties to the Russian government.

At the same time, Trump proclaimed that Mexico “has been absolutely terrific for the last four days,” arresting “thousands” of Central American migrants before they could reach the U.S. border. But then the president issued another warning.

“If for any reason Mexico stops apprehending and bringing the illegals back to where they came from, the U.S. will be forced to tariff at 25 percent all cars made in Mexico and shipped over the border to us. If that doesn’t work, I will close the border,” Trump vowed.

Trump had backed off from that threat earlier in the week after lawmakers from both parties threw cold water on the idea.

“Closing down the border would have potentially catastrophic economic impact on our country, and I would hope we would not be doing that,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned.

As for the country being “full,” the United States, with a population density of 35 people per square kilometer, ranks 175th of 240 countries, between Venezuela and Kyrgyzstan.

Trump’s rolling up the welcome mat for immigrants stands in opposition to the long-standing American tradition of welcoming immigrants summed up by the lines in Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus,” inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

In February, Trump painted a very different picture regarding the country’s need for new immigrants.

“I need people coming in because we need people to run the factories and plants and companies that are moving back in,” Trump told reporters in February. “We need people.”

[AOL]

President Trump Ranted About ‘Getting Rid of Judges’

Apparently, we had something of an “episode” in the Oval Office Tuesday afternoon.

“Sure, it’s going to have a negative impact on the economy,” the president jovially admitted of his proposed shutdown. “It is one of the biggest trade deals in the world that we’ve just done with the USMCA. It is a very big trading partner. Trading is very important, the borders are very important, but security is what most important. I have to have security. And we’re going to have security in this country. That is more important than trade. Let me just give you a little secret, security is more important to me than trade, so we’re going to have a strong border, or we’re going to have a closed border. I’m totally prepared to do it.”

“Well I haven’t made that intention known and I’m ready to close it if I have to close it. Mexico has the strongest immigration laws in the world. Nobody has stronger. I guess some have the same but you can’t get any stronger than what Mexico has and we don’t want people coming up on this dangerous journey and coming in. And what we have to do is Congress has to meet quickly and make a deal. I could do it in 45 minutes. We need to get rid of chain migration, we need to get rid of catch and release and visa lottery and we have to do something about asylum and to be honest with you, I have to get rid of judges.”

Oh. And there were some pronunciation issues.

Meanwhile, those “rural voters” who, evidently, are the only voters that truly matter, are getting hammered all over the midwest. From NBC News:

Farmers will have to destroy any grains that were contaminated by floodwater, which could also prevent some growers from planting oversaturated fields. Near Crescent, Iowa, farmer Don Rief said the flood damaged more than 60,000 bushels of his grain, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. He tried to move the crops before the flood, but dirt roads were too soft from the storm to support trucks. “We were just hurrying like hell,” Rief said. “Hopefully USDA will come in and minimize some of the damage.” The USDA does not have a program that covers flood-damaged grain because farmers have typically received more advance notice of rising waters, allowing them to move crops and limit losses, said Tom Vilsack, who ran the agency under former President Barack Obama.

That’s going to have to change, it seems. We don’t get many warnings about sudden calamities anymore and, the ones we get, we don’t listen to anyway.

[Esquire]

Trump begs GOP to ‘stay united’ in support of border wall measure

President Trump on Wednesday implored Senate Republicans to “STAY UNITED!” and vote for his wall on the southern border, dismissing arguments raised to support blocking his national emergency declaration.

“Senate Republicans are not voting on constitutionality or precedent, they are voting on desperately needed Border Security & the Wall,” Trump posted on his Twitter page. “Our Country is being invaded with Drugs, Human Traffickers, & Criminals of all shapes and sizes. That’s what this vote is all about. STAY UNITED!”

The Democrat-controlled House voted last month to block Trump’s emergency declaration, a move the White House says would allow the president to divert money from the Pentagon construction fund for barrier construction.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his chamber will vote on the resolution before lawmakers go on recess on March 15, but he said there aren’t enough votes to pass it.

Four Republicans have announced that they will vote against it – Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority.

[New York Post]

Trump tweets out video of wall being built along border

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted out a video showing construction vehicles hoisting segments of a wall on the New Mexico border.

“We have just built this powerful Wall in New Mexico. Completed on January 30, 2019 – 47 days ahead of schedule! Many miles more now under construction! #FinishTheWall,” he wrote in a post accompanying the video.

The video, which has been sped up, shows two backhoes, one digging a trench and another helping workers place the wall, which appears to be made of steel slats.

Trump declared a national emergency last Fridayso that he can shift funds from other federal agencies to build his wall.

Congress had approved $1.3 billion for the wall, but Trump had demanded $5.7 billion.

Using the declaration to divert funds, Trump said he could come up with $8 billion.

Congress hasn’t approved any funds for new construction of the wall, but it has allocated money to replace or strengthen existing barriers.

[New York Post]

Reality

The video Trump tweeted was not from “RIGHT NOW” but from five months ago of the repair of pre-existing fencing for Santa Theresa Project Border Wall Replacement Project, a push to upgrade a 20-mile stretch of vehicle barriers to bollard-style fence.

Trump uses racist accent to declare the death penalty for drug dealers makes him ‘excited’

In the middle of a speech declaring a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, a sniffling President Donald Trump segued into the details of trade negotiations with China, and said he was ‘most excited’ about language providing for the death penalty for drug dealers. Trump also made a point of imitating Chinese President Xi Jinping’s accent.

Trump said that before discussing trade with the Chinese president at the summit in Argentina in December, they discussed the problem of drugs.

“I said, ‘listen, we have tremendous amounts of fentanyl coming into our country, kills tens of thousands of people, I think far more than anybody and I’d love you to declare it a lethal drug and put it on your criminal list,’” Trump said, adding that he was surprised when Xi told him China didn’t have the same problems with drugs as the U.S.

“I said ‘you have 1.4 billion people, what do you mean you have no drug problem?’” Trump said. Then, in an accent meant to approximate Xi’s, Trump said the Chinese leader replied, “‘Death penalty. We give death penalty to people that sell drugs, end of problem.’” 

Trump said America should adopt the same policy.

“President Xi agreed to put fentanyl on his list of deadly, deadly drugs, and it’s a criminal penalty and the penalty is death,” Trump said. “So that’s frankly one of the things I’m most excited about in our trade deal.”

[Raw Story]

Trump just declared a national emergency at the border

After battling for weeks over funding for a border wall, overseeing the longest government shutdown in US history, and finally signing on to a deal to fund the government, President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency over a contrived crisis at the US-Mexico border.

On Friday, Trump invoked his power to declare a national emergency in a unilateral effort to make progress on the border wall Congress has thus far denied him. He initially demanded $5 billion for the construction of about 200 miles of barrier at the border, and Democrats in Congress have repeatedly refused to go anywhere near that figure. He got about $1.3 billion for border fencing in the deal he finally agreed to, a far cry from the desired amount. So he’s going with a national emergency to get more.

“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border, and we’re going to do it, one way or another, we have to do it,” he said in a speech at the White House Rose Garden on Friday.

Trump will try to cobble together funds from a number of areas and redirect them toward border wall construction. White House officials ahead of the announcement on Friday said he would redirect about $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, an account funded by money seized by the US government; $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense’s counter-drug activities; and $3.6 billion from other military construction accounts. Trump won’t try to take anything from disaster relief.

“I didn’t need to do this,” Trump said on Friday. “But I’d rather do it much faster.”

That the president has finally decided to declare an emergency isn’t entirely surprising — he has been wavering on the idea for weeks.

So why declare a national emergency in addition to the spending deal? The short answer is that Trump doesn’t want to admit he lost. He’s already getting less for border fencing than was in the original spending bill he refused to sign in December — and caused a 35-day government shutdown over — so he’s looking to executive action instead.

There has been some debate about whether Trump can indeed declare an emergency at the border considering there isn’t really one, and the answer, at least initially, seems to be that he can.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor on Thursday that he would support the emergency declaration.

[Vox]

Trump Touts Fox News Poll … That Found 50 Percent Oppose Border Wall

President Donald Trump tonight tweeted out a screengrab from Fox News on the results of the network’s latest poll regarding border security, days ahead of the deadline to pass the compromise bill and avert a shutdown.

Fox News’ Special Report tonight covered part of the poll––finding that 66 percent of people support a border deal that “includes money for some form of a border barrier and other border security measures as well as money for humanitarian relief.”

And the president’s Twitter account posted the graphic tonight:

The full poll from Fox News finds that 46 percent support a border wall but 50 percent oppose it. 38 percent would favor Trump declaring a national emergency to get the wall built and 56 percent would oppose it.

When asked whether Trump or Nancy Pelosi ended the shutdown stronger politically, 35 percent said Trump and 43 percent said Pelosi.

[Mediaite]

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