Despite a federal judge blocking President Donald Trump’s plan to use Pentagon funds to build a border wall on Tuesday, the president claimed otherwise during a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania. According to Trump, the “far-left politicians” are attempting to thwart his efforts to build a wall, but he claims things are nevertheless going as planned, Newsweek reports.
“But, we’re building it and it’s fine,” he said. “And we have the money coming in from the military.”
“I got it from here, from there. Believe me. If I weren’t a good developer, you could forget about that wall.”
Newsweek reports that the court defeat came within hours of Trump’s rally, noting that it’s unclear if the president had been aware of the judge’s decision that deemed his funding plan for the wall unlawful.
The decision was handed down by Judge David Briones of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, who put a stop — at least temporarily — to the $3.6 billion package Trump wanted to divert from the Pentagon into the southern border wall. Although Secretary of Defense Mark Esper previously approved the funding — which is in addition to the $1 billion already secured by Congress — El Paso County, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights later filed a lawsuit to block the efforts. According to the lawsuit, Trump does not have the authority to use a national emergency declaration to bypass a Congress funding decision.
Kristy Parker, counsel at Protect Democracy, praised the judge’s decision and suggested Trump will have to come to terms with the fact that he must follow the Constitution and abide by the congressional process.
“This is a decision that said, ‘no, you can’t use a national emergency declaration to spend more money on a border wall than Congress said you could.'”
Per CNN, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted that the ruling is another legal win against the executive branch’s attempts of circumventing Congress, adding that Trump cannot use Article II as a reason to “do whatever he wants.”
— J. Omar Ornelas (@fotornelas) December 4, 2019
The border wall is one of the signature promises of Trump’s 2016 campaign. The recent court defeat comes not long after photojournalist J. Omar Ornelas shared a video of three men climbing a new part of the U.S.-Mexico border wall — which the president has deemed unscalable— using a rope ladder.
Trump previously said the new portions of the wall were tested by “world-class mountain climbers,” who allegedly found it too difficult to climb.