Trump Holds Off Emergency Declaration: Says It's The Easy Way Out


At a roundtable meeting on security, Trump backed down from repeated threats to declare a national emergency.

Yesterday: "Almost definitely"

“If [a deal with Congress] doesn’t work out, probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely,” Trump said of declaring a national emergency as he left the White House for Texas.

Today: Trump Backs Down

The "easy solution is for me to call a national emergency ... but I'm not going to do it so fast." Trump added "I have the absolute right to do it."

Trump said he would do it, it would be appealed, he expected to lose the appeal in the 9th Circuit, but would win in the Supreme Court.

"We have a country that is being invaded by criminals and by drugs and we're going to stop it," said Trump.

Who Pays for the Wall?

Rewriting History

Compelling Mexico to Pay for the Wall

That clip with Hannity does say "one way or another" but courtesy of web archives, please consider Compelling Mexico to Pay for the Wall.

That's what Trump meant. That link was taken down.

For a complete explanation of the vanishing link, please see Trump Thought It Would Only Take Three Days to Get Mexico to Pay for the Wall

Also, a March 2016 memo to Washington Post reporters explained multiple ways to “compel Mexico” to “make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion” to keep the U.S. from cutting off the spigot of money it already sends to Mexico annually.

Senator Lindsey Graham Wants Emergency Declaration

​National Emergency Valid Idea?

It certainly within his right to declare a National Emergency. I have stated so many times.

What's questionable is whether or not Trump can bypass Congress on funding.

Stupid Thing to Do

I do not know for sure how the courts would rule, and nor does anyone else.

However, I do know that declaring a national emergency would be a stupid thing to do.

Bad Precedent

A Fox News analyst warns that a future Democrat president could declare a "national emergency" over gun violence and ban guns.

The Wall Street Journal accurately comments on Trump’s Presidential Emergency.

The editorial board accurately argues "He probably has the legal authority, but it’s still a bad precedent."

Because President Trump has deployed troops to the border, he theoretically could reallocate some of the $10 billion or so unobligated military construction funds for a wall. This would be a broad interpretation of the law since a wall is not necessary to support troops. But the Supreme Court has nearly always upheld executive actions pursuant to delegations of Congress.

Real Threat: Climate Change

If Mr. Trump did win in court, a President Elizabeth Warren might take the precedent as license to circumvent Congress whenever it is politically expedient. Rising carbon emissions or even income inequality could be declared national emergencies. The media would cheer them on.

That's the problem with declaring national emergencies when there truly aren't any.

Who the hell knows what the Democrats will do when they get their turn?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (28)
No. 1-15

I find myself channeling Jerry Seinfeld here. I just don't think Trump gets the concept of the word "Emergency"

e·mer·gen·cy /əˈmərjənsē/ noun noun: emergency; plural noun: emergencies

a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

Did Trump not get that an emergency is unexpected and requires immediate action. None of what he said today supports that notion

The entire episode is absurd. Constitution is quite clear. Congress controls the purse strings. It's an instant constitutional challenge for the President to ignore the will of the legislature and allocate funds in a manner inconsistent with Congressional authorization


Who the hell knows what the Democrats will do when they get their turn?

Solution is simple to that problem Trump should:

  1. Declare National Emergency to build the wall;
  2. Declare National Emergency in 2020 elections to maintain status quo (ie keep Democrats away).

Just ask Putin and Jinping how this is done.


Democrats don't need to declare national emergencies to accomplish their priorities such as DACA and IRS harassment of conservative organizations.

Trump should just enforce existing immigration laws to the letter of the law, starting with CA. You won't believe how fast Democrats will approve the $5b funding for the wall.


What's the difference is DJT declaring a national emergency to build a wall and obama ignoring EXISTING FEDERAL LAW in an EO for DACA?

DACA is much worse. The democrats could have cared less.


Trump is borderline insane, Mish.