Trump Spiraling as He Searches for a Wall Win

[Content Note: Nativism.]

As the government shutdown enters a third week, Donald Trump is spiraling, scrambling to defend his "absolute right" to declare a national emergency and find a way to eke out a "win" from this standoff, which is rooted in nativist lies and is causing harm to federal workers and countless people across the nation.

And any way that he tries to find a way to emerge victorious — or at least, emerge declaring victory with a claim to have funds to build the wall — is going to be heinous. The latest gambit being considered is stealing money from storm aid.

Courtney Kube and Julia Ainsley at NBC News: Trump Could Take Billions from Disaster Areas to Fund Wall. "Donald Trump has been briefed on a plan that would use the Army Corps of Engineers and a portion of $13.9 billion of Army Corps funding to build 315 miles of barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the briefing. The money was set aside to fund projects all over the country including storm-damaged areas of Puerto Rico through fiscal year 2020, but the checks have not been written yet and, under an emergency declaration, the president could take the money from these civil works projects and use it to build the border wall, said officials familiar with the briefing and two congressional sources."

And, of course, that would require declaring a national emergency, so preparations are being made to that end.

Erica Werner, Josh Dawsey, Mike DeBonis, and Seung Min Kim at the Washington Post: Trump Administration Lays Groundwork to Declare National Emergency to Build Wall. "The White House has begun laying the groundwork for a declaration of national emergency to build [Donald] Trump's border wall, a move certain to set off a firestorm of opposition in Congress and the courts but one that could pave the way for an end to the three-week government shutdown. ...The preparations are taking place with talks at an impasse over Trump's demands for $5.7 billion to construct more than 200 miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats are staunchly opposed, leading to a partial government shutdown that on Saturday will become the longest in U.S. history."

So that's where we are this morning. And let us be very clear about this proposal: The President of the United States is proposing to declare a national emergency over a manufactured crisis in order to use funds allocated for real crises to build a monument to his nativist white supremacy.

That's what is happening. We are living in a cuckoo clock.

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