Donald Trump aide Stephen Miller’s attempts to defend the president’s declaration of national emergency backfired when Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace launched into him for making inaccurate comparisons.
Trump declared a national emergency over the failure of Congress to meet his demand of $5.6 billion for the border wall. On Friday, the president made the surprising confession that the situation didn’t demand a declaration of national emergency, and that his use of emergency powers is unlikely to survive challenges in the lower courts, according to The Guardian.
Not only the Democrats in Congress, but even members of his own party, including Marco Rubio and Susan Collins, have been left wondering if Trump should have declared an emergency over wall funding.
The Sunday talk shows were dominated by discussions of whether the move was constitutional, and Miller, who is a staunch supporter of Trump’s views on immigration, appeared on Fox News Sunday to defend the president’s decision.
When host Chris Wallace tried to confront Miller over the constitutionality and the need for the declaration, Miller said Trump’s decision was not all too unusual when seen through the prism of similar actions taken by past presidents.
To this, Wallace offered Miller a list of the 59 other instances when a president declared a national emergency, arguing that all of those instances were actual emergencies, including the September 11 attacks.
Miller tried to compare those instances with the current one at the border, arguing that Trump was so adamant over the border wall because it would stop Mexican drug cartels from plying their businesses in the United States, a defense which has cropped up more than once over the last week.
“You and I both know that presidents for years have engaged in one military adventure after another, not to mention the fact that we do operations to destroy drug fields in foreign lands in Afghanistan or Colombia, and we can’t even deal with the criminal cartels operating on our border?” Miller argued.
But Wallace was not amused and the Fox News Sunday host reminded Miller that it was him who gets to ask the questions.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 17, 2019
Miller also went on to promise that 200 miles of the border wall will be built by September 2020, two months before Trump would be up for re-election. Miller has been a staunch supporter of Trump’s policies on immigration and is believed to have been the architect behind the controversial Muslim ban that Trump enforced soon after entering the White House.