When Trump Repeatedly Tweets He Wants To Build Wall Through “M”, He’s Talking About Mexico, Right? Wrong!
Trump’s New “Pet” Idea Involves The U.S. Military (That’s The “M”!) Paying For It…
The President’s been trying hard to get some special attention for that Tweet, first putting it out on Sunday, then Retweeting the exact same thing just a few hours ago. Well now he’s got it.
It could also stand for “Math”: because in the $1.3-trillion spending bill that swept through Congress last week, Trump only got $1.6-billion in wall funding vs. the $25-billion he asked for, while the Defense Department got everything requested: $700-billion dollars. As Trump says in his Tweet “our Military is again rich.” So surely they can scrape up a measly $25-billion so he can keep his campaign promise and fund his legacy…
(Especially, as we’ve pointed out, the reason the President was lobbying so hard to get all $25-billion up front is he knows damn well if Democrats manage to retake the House or Senate in this fall’s elections he’ll never get it.)
Roll Call points out it’s not that simple: they say what the President’s calling for is called a “reprogramming” of funds, which “would require approval of the House and Senate Appropriations and Armed Services committees”.
But it might not be that simple either: Trump’s latched onto the idea of saying he’s doing things in the interests of “National Security” or in this case “National Defense”. He uses that phrase all the time now. He used it when he rolled out steel and aluminum tariffs. He did so again when he killed Broadcom’s takeover of Qualcomm. And there’s a reason he keeps returning to that specific phrasing: as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, the President can take action unilaterally (in most cases) if he deems the safety or strategic interests of the United States to be under threat. Does “the wall” qualify?
Interestingly, one of the better explainers we could find about Presidential Powers over the military comes from the “American Center for Law and Justice”, which describes itself as “a politically conservative, Christian non-profit”. What’s probably more important to know is it’s led by Trump’s now-chief Russia lawyer Jay Sekulow. Perhaps Trump’s been getting guidance from Sekulow on other matters as well.