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]

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 Twitter rants at press for exposing lack of support for his wall

President Donald Trump got an early start on Twitter on Saturday morning, saying he has ‘great support” for his border wall and government shutdown, while at the same time lashing out at the press for publishing reports that show otherwise.

On Twitter, Trump wrote: “Great support coming from all sides for Border Security (including Wall) on our very dangerous Southern Border. Teams negotiating this weekend! Washington Post and NBC reporting of events, including Fake sources, has been very inaccurate (to put it mildly)!”

[Raw Story]

Trump says he is considering using emergency powers to build wall

President Donald Trump said Friday that he is considering using emergency powers which would allow him to use military funding to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, saying “I can do it if I want.”

“We can call a national emergency because of the security … I haven’t done it. I may do it but we can call a national emergency and build it very quickly,” he said during remarks in the White House Rose Garden.

Trump has repeatedly talked about declaring a national emergency in recent months but hasn’t followed through yet, allowing the government to shut down over funding the wall rather than declaring one.

On Friday, he seemed to indicate that he would prefer to secure the funding through Congress.

“If we can do it through the negotiating process, we’re giving that a shot,” he said.

However, Trump also said he believes he doesn’t need congressional approval to build the wall.

“Absolutely,” Trump replied. “We can call a national emergency. I haven’t done it. I may do it. I may do it. We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly. It’s another way of doing it.”

Asked if that was a threat to Democrats, Trump said: “I never threaten anybody, but I am allowed to do it — call a national emergency.”

“If we can do it through the negotiating process, we’re giving that a shot,” he said.

In December, defense officials from the Homeland Defense section of the Pentagon visited the White House for a meeting to discuss the possibility, three US officials have told CNN.

The meeting, which included officials from the Department of Homeland Security, focused on options that would allow Trump to build the border wall by tapping into military funding if he was unable to secure the money he wants from Congress.

[CNN]

Trump threatens to extend partial government shutdown for years

President Trump on Friday threatened to keep roughly a quarter of the federal government closed for years amid a dispute over border-wall funding, the latest sign the president and congressional Democrats remain far apart on resolving the two-week-long shutdown.

Trump confirmed after a heated, closed-door meeting that he “absolutely” told Democrats the shutdown could last more than a year, which was first revealed by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) following the negotiation session inside the White House Situation Room.

“We told the president we needed the government open,” Schumer told reporters on the West Wing driveway after the meeting. “He resisted. In fact, he said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years.”

Addressing the news media later in the Rose Garden, the president expressed hope that the shutdown would not last that long, citing what he believes is Democrats’ willingness to strike a deal.

Despite the Democrats’ description of the two-hour meeting as “contentious,” Trump called it “productive” and said he appointed a working group of top administration officials to continue talks with lawmakers through the weekend.

“I thought it was really a very, very good meeting. We’re all on the same path in terms of wanting to get government open,” the president said during a news conference that lasted roughly an hour.

But the president refused to back away from what he called his “very firm” demand for $5.6 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have repeatedly rejected that demand.

Trump also threatened to use emergency powers to build the wall, a move that would inflame tensions with Congress, where Democrats have taken control of the House, and raise legal questions about his executive authority.

“Yes, I have,” Trump said when asked if he is considering declaring a national emergency to start wall construction if he doesn’t receive funding from Congress. “We can do it. I haven’t done it. I may do it. I may do it.”

The government has been partially shut down since Dec. 22, when Trump backed away from a spending agreement that he was expected to sign into law, one that didn’t include wall funding.

Around 800,000 workers across more than half a dozen agencies are closer to missing their next paycheck because of the funding lapse, and government services and museums have begun to shutter.

In one of their first acts in the majority, Democrats on Thursday passed a spending package that would reopen the vast majority of the closed parts of government while funding the Department of Homeland Security, which enforces immigration laws, through Feb. 8 to buy more time for spending talks.

“We cannot resolve this until we open up government,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said after emerging from the White House on Friday.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to bring the House-passed measure to the floor for a vote, citing a veto threat from the White House.

Trump rejected Pelosi’s proposal to reopen most of the closed parts of government while wall talks continue, saying, “We won’t be opening until it’s solved.”

[The Hill]

Trump Tweets Out Intense Doomsday Video Warning of Border Crisis: ‘We Will Build the Wall!’

President Donald Trump is preparing Americans for the world ending.

In an intense video he tweeted out this afternoon, he promises to “build the wall,” as crowds of people are heard chanting,  “Build the wall! Build the wall!” in the background:

The President’s video decries the “crisis on the border,” which is causing an uptick in “crime, drugs, and lawlessness” across the border and includes a clip of Senator Chuck Schumer denouncing illegal immigration.

[Mediaite]

Trump falsely claims Mexico is paying for wall, demands taxpayer money for wall in meeting with Democrats

President Trump rejected a plan from Democrats on Wednesday to reopen key parts of the federal government, as a meeting of the country’s top political leaders disbanded with no sign of progress toward ending the partial shutdown.

The president is demanding more than $5 billion to build a new wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. House Democrats plan to advance legislation that would reopen key parts of the government but deny Trump any additional money for a wall, as one of their first acts after they take control of the chamber on Thursday.

But Trump told congressional leaders he will not sign the measure, said incoming House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who attended the meeting.

“The president’s not going to sign it . . . Now’s the time to come together, find common ground and solve this problem,” Mc­Carthy said. “I didn’t find the Democrats were wanting to negotiate today.”

Trump has invited congressional leaders back to the White House on Friday for more discussions. But neither side offered any indication that a deal was within reach.

The jostling from Trump and top Democrats reflects how Washington’s new balance of power will not break the impasse that has shuttered large parts of the government since Dec. 22. And with no obvious path to a compromise, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said the shutdown could drag on for “weeks.”

The 12-day government shutdown has entered a new and unruly phase. Before the meeting, Trump leveled a series of false claims about immigration and the federal budget. Democrats countered by accusing the president of intransigence and said they would not yield to his demands.

“We have given the Republicans a chance to take ‘yes’ for an answer,” incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said after the meeting. Earlier, Trump said the shutdown would go on “as long as it takes.”

The shutdown began Dec. 22, and its effects are spreading, particularly in the Washington region. The Smithsonian Institution closed its museums and the National Zoo on Wednesday. Trash and human waste are piling up at national parks.

The District of Columbia has stopped issuing marriage licenses because of cutbacks to its funding, and the Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, and a number of other agencies have suspended or scaled back a range of services for families and businesses.

As Trump and Democrats scrap over the wall, both sides have all the power they need to block the other. Democrats can use their House majority — or a Senate filibuster — to stall any legislation that includes additional money for a wall. Trump can veto any bill that doesn’t, and Senate Republicans have said they won’t advance any legislation that lacks the president’s blessing.

Trump wants $5.6 billion for the construction of 200 miles of wall along the Mexican border. Some Republicans have suggested he would be willing to accept a lesser amount, but he tried to dismiss this idea on Wednesday.

He also rejected the negotiating position of his own top advisers. Vice President Pence in December approached Democrats with a compromise offer of $2.5 billion for border security and wall improvements. But Trump on Wednesday said he would never accept that deal.

“Somebody said $2.5 (billion),” Trump said to reporters. “No. Look, this is national security we’re talking about.”

Democrats have signaled a willingness to approve $1.3 billion for border security as part of a broader spending bill, and a portion of that money could be used to replace and repair existing sections of wall and fencing. But they have drawn the line at the use of any additional taxpayer money for the construction of a new wall.

The president on Wednesday continued to advance false claims about where the wall money would come from and why it is needed.

He said the wall would be paid for by Mexico through savings to the United States under a new North American trade agreement. But the trade agreement has yet to be approved by Congress, and trade experts said such savings are uncertain.

He also wrote in a Twitter post that “Much of the Wall has already been fully renovated or built.” This is also not true. Some wall and fencing has been replaced during the Trump administration, but there is little evidence that new barriers have been established along the 2,000-mile border.

And in remarks to reporters during a televised cabinet meeting, Trump estimated there are between 30 million and 35 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. That number is roughly triple the estimate his own Department of Homeland Security offered several weeks ago.

Pelosi is under extreme pressure from liberal groups not to give in to White House pressure for any wall funding. McCarthy said Trump wanted to have the next meeting on Friday, after leadership elections in Congress, and Trump has suggested Pelosi is opposing money for the border wall because she is worried about losing support from liberals.

But Pelosi has rejected the notion she is opposing the wall for purely political purposes, and many Democrats have rallied to her defense.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign and earlier in his presidency, Trump told voters he said he would build a concrete wall, 30 feet tall in most places, to keep people out. He also promised Mexico would pay for the wall. Since becoming president, though, he has shifted this promise, saying the money must come from U.S. taxpayers.

During the shutdown, Trump has offered much different descriptions of the barrier he wants to build along the Mexico border. He has said at times it would be a traditional wall, but he has also rejected the idea of a wall and described it as a series of “steel slats.” He recently offered a picture on Twitter of vertical posts with pointy tips, but other government officials said they were not planning to erect anything that looked like this.

The shutdown began after Trump rejected bipartisan congressional efforts to fund many operations through Feb. 8, insisting that any deal must contain wall money. His demand infuriated many Republicans who had been working to avoid a shutdown, but most have followed his lead and are insisting Democrats broker some sort of compromise.

Democrats on Wednesday sought to ramp up pressure on Republicans to reopen the government, even suggesting they push off a debate about the border wall to a later date.

“I said, ‘Mr. President, give me one good reason why you should continue your shutdown,’” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said after the White House meeting. “He could not give a good answer.”

Two congressional aides briefed on the exchange said Trump told Schumer the president would “look foolish” if he backed down now. White House officials didn’t respond to requests for comment on this exchange.

Despite the far-reaching impacts of the shutdown, much of the federal government has not been touched. Major agencies like the Pentagon and the Department of Health and Human Services have already been funded through the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, thanks to spending bills passed by Congress last year.

House Democrats on Thursday plan to pass two bills: one to fund the Homeland Security Department at its current level through Feb. 8, which would continue the $1.3 billion in border barrier funding; and the other to fund the rest of the government through Sept. 30, at levels negotiated on a bipartisan basis in the Senate.

That would make it possible for McConnell to send Trump a bill to reopen most of the government, while setting aside the fight over the wall.

Trump and some conservative Republicans have said the fight over wall funding is necessary now because it’s the best point of leverage, believing Democrats will rush to fund government programs and offer up some money in return for GOP votes. That has proved not to be the case.

Wednesday’s meeting was crafted by the White House as an opportunity for DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to brief Democrats on problems along the Mexico border, but Democrats quickly interjected and said they wanted to talk about efforts to reopen the government.

The last time Schumer and Pelosi met Trump at the White House, on Dec. 11, it turned into a bizarre televised squabble during which Trump claimed he would be “proud” to shut down the government over the wall and insisted he would take ownership of any shutdown. The agencies that are unfunded and in shutdown mode include the Homeland Security, which pays for the wall; as well as the departments of Agriculture, Justice, Interior, Transportation, State, and Housing and Urban Development. NASA is also partially shut down, along with the National Park Service and an array of smaller agencies.

Some 800,000 federal workers are affected, including around 350,000 who have been furloughed while the rest stay on the job wondering whether they will end up getting paid. In past shutdowns, Congress has approved retroactive pay once the impasse has been resolved. But the many government contractors affected may never make up their lost paychecks.

The current shutdown is the longest since a 16-day partial shutdown in 2013 over the Affordable Care Act.

[Washington Post]

Trump Makes All-Caps New Year’s Decree: ‘MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL’

With the Federal government in its 10th day of a shutdown as President Donald Trump tries to secure funds in the budget for a Southern border wall, the commander-in-chief is reverting back to his original campaign promise about where the money is coming from.

In a Monday night tweet fired off just a few hours before the ball drop in Times Square, the president claimed that Mexico will be financing the wall by way of the trade pact they signed earlier in 2018.

“MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL through the many billions of dollars a year that the U.S.A. is saving through the new Trade Deal, the USMCA, that will replace the horrendous NAFTA Trade Deal, which has so badly hurt our Country,” Trump wrote. “Mexico & Canada will also thrive – good for all!”

Earlier, Trump also taped a brief New Year’s message for his followers:

“While I’m at the White House working, you’re out there partying tonight. But I don’t blame you. Enjoy yourselves. We’re gonna have a great year. Have a really, really Happy New Year.”

[Mediaite]

Trump compares border wall to ‘Wall around’ Obama home

President Donald Trump compared his proposed border wall on Sunday with a fence-like barrier that surrounds the Washington home of Barack and Michelle Obama.

“President and Mrs. Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound,” Trump tweeted on Sunday afternoon. “I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security. The U.S. needs the same thing, slightly larger version!”

The Obamas bought their home in the Kalorama neighborhood in 2017 for $8 million after renting it for 2½ years, according to TODAY.

TMZ first reported in 2017 that the couple was building a fence-like wall and published photos showing what appeared to be the construction of a few brick columns. The project has since been completed.

Another photo of the home in Town and Country magazine showed a metal gate and brick columns. The Obamas also added guard booths.

A spokeswoman for the Obamas declined to comment, but in her book “Becoming,” published in November, Michelle Obama wrote that Trump’s embrace of false conspiracy theories had made her fear for her family’s security.

“What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington?” she wrote. “What if that person went looking for our girls? Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk.”

Trump’s tweet comes amid a partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 over his demand that Congress fund a $5 billion wall on the United States’ southern border. He threatened to “close” the border if the money was not approved.

Congressional Democrats, who take control of the House of Representatives after returning to Washington next month, have shown little interest in funding what incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff called an “immoral, ineffective and expensive wall — the wall that he specifically promised that Mexico would pay for.”

After a meeting with Trump on Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters that “on multiple fronts the president is in a good mood.”

“He feels like he’s got to deliver on the promise of securing our border,” Graham said, adding, “He’s very open minded about combining wall funding with other things to make it a win-win for the country.”

[NBC News]

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