The government still remains partially closed as Republicans and Democrats struggle to reach a deal over border wall funding.
President Trump started Monday by berating the media using his standard “fake news” insult, while also declaring them once again the “enemy of the people.”
1. The Fake News & totally dishonest Media concerning me and my presidency has never been worse. Many have become crazed lunatics who have given up on the TRUTH!…
2. They use non-existent sources & write stories that are total fiction. Our Country is doing so well, yet this is a sad day in America!
3. It is truly the Enemy of the People! We must bring honesty back to journalism and reporting!
On Sunday, Fox News reporter Chris Wallace interviewed Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Wallace asks Sanders about a number released by DHS that claims roughly 4,000 terrorists or suspected terrorist have been apprehended at the Southern Border.
Wallace explains to Sanders, that according to the State Department, “there hasn’t been any terrorists found coming across the southern border.” They were Wallace says apprehended at airports.
Sanders explains that they come by “land, air, and sea.”
During President Trump’s Rose Garden presser he told gathered reporters that “some” former President’s have told him they should have built the border wall.
Trump has deluded himself into believing that Democrats give a damn whether he builds his fake wall with steel or concrete.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 4, 2019
He then claims that “some” of the previous presidents have told him that they should’ve built walls. pic.twitter.com/TRmFclYTeL
Trump: So the only way you’re going to stop that is by having a solid steel structure or concrete structure, whether it’s a wall or some form of very powerful steel. Now, the steel is actually more expensive than the concrete, but I think we’re probably talking about steel because I really feel the other side feels better about it. And I can understand what they’re saying. It is more expensive.
We mentioned the price that we want — $5.6 billion — very strongly. Because numbers are thrown around — 1.6, 2.1, 2.5. This is national security we’re talking about. We’re not talking about games. We’re talking about national security. This should have been done by all of the Presidents that preceded me. And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.
Politico reported on Friday that “at least three of the four living U.S. presidents — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — did no such thing.”
Angel Ureña spokesman for former President Bill Clinton told the paper, “He did not. In fact, they’ve not talked since the inauguration.”
Former President Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said the two men, President Trump and President Bush, had not discussed the matter.
Former President Obama, the paper reports, had not spoken to President Trump since the inauguration until they exchanged a quick word during the funeral of President George H. W. Bush.
Acting Chief of Staff to the President Mike Mulvaney appeared on CNN’s State of the Union hosted by Jake Tapper and when asked twice by Tapper which President spoke to President Trump about the border wall, he said, “I have no idea. I have not asked the President that question.”
4. No doubt, but let’s get our deal done in Congress!
During the same Rose Garden presser President Trump was asked if he had explored the possibility of using “emergency powers,” to build the border wall without Congressional approval, to which he said “Yes, I have. And I can do it if I want.”
Trump: No, we can use them — absolutely, we can call a national emergency because of the security of our country. Absolutely. No, we can do it. I haven’t done it. I may do it. I may do it. But we can call a national emergency and build it very quickly. And it’s another way of doing it.
Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) appeared on ABC’s This Week when asked if President Trump had the authority to use emergency powers to build the wall without Congressional approval he said the short answer is “yes.”
Smith explained that the use of the emergency powers have primarily been used to build facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, he added, “In this case, I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, ‘Where is the emergency?’ You have to establish that in order to do this, but beyond that, this would be a terrible use of Department of Defense dollars.”
5. The Failing New York Times has knowingly written a very inaccurate story on my intentions on Syria.
December 19th, 2018 President Trump tweeted his intention to withdrawal the 2,000 ground troops currently in Syria.
At the time Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement as the News Blender reported, that the U.S. has “started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign,” she added, “the United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary.”
The move by President Trump seemed to blindside most in D.C., it led to the resignation of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, the acceleration of the special presidential envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, Brett McGurk’s resignation, and the resignation of Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense.
Sweeny, who had served as Defense Secretary’s Chief of Staff since January 2017 said in a statement posted to the DOD website that, “After two years in the Pentagon, I’ve decided the time is right to return to the private sector. It has been an honor to serve again alongside the men and women of the Department of Defense.”
On Sunday The New York Times reported that National Security Adviser John Bolton, “rolled back” President Trump’s “decision to rapidly withdraw from Syria, laying out conditions for a pullout that could leave American forces there for months or even years.”
The comments came as Bolton stopped in Israel, before his scheduled meeting on Tuesday in Turkey.
Bolton told reporters, “We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States, at a minimum so they don’t endanger our troops.”
According to the article, Bolton also laid out an argument “for keeping some troops at a garrison in the southeast that is used to monitor the flow of Iranian arms and soldiers. In September, three months before Mr. Trump’s announcement, Mr. Bolton had declared that the United States would remain in Syria as long as Iranians were on the ground there.”
At the time of President Trump’s Syria withdrawal announcement, he stated it would happen within 30 days, he later expanded it to four months.
On Sunday President Trump spoke with reporters about Syria troop withdrawal he would not detail a timeline for the withdrawal.
TRUMP on SYRIA withdrawal: “Iran hates ISIS more than we do, if that’s possible. Russia hates ISIS more than we do. Turkey hates ISIS, maybe not as much as we do. But these are countries that hate ISIS & they can do a little fighting in their neighborhood”— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 6, 2019
Won’t detail timeline pic.twitter.com/Et04K8rmbh
For What It’s Worth: Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced via Twitter that President Trump will travel to the Southern Border on Thursday.
President Trump has confirmed reports that he will address the nation Tuesday at 9 p.m. eastern via Twitter.