Having become fully aware of his untenable position and the negative impact that the partial government shutdown was having on roughly 800,000 federal employees, US president Donald Trump has admitted that he lacks the political power to secure funding to begin construction of the border wall and graciously conceded defeat.
Just kidding! The motherfucker has gone on TV to declare that, actually, it is the Democrats‘ fault that the government is in shutdown and that America will imminently collapse if the wall isn’t built immediately.
The shutdown, which has now been going for 18 days (tied for second longest in US history), comes as a result of an impasse between the Republicans and Democrats on federal funding bills, which require 60 out of 100 Senate votes to pass.
Currently, the Senate is composed of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents — meaning the bills need bipartisan support to pass. Trump is refusing to sign off on anything that doesn’t include funding for the wall, and the Democrats are refusing to vote for anything that includes the USD $5.7 billion Trump wants earmarked for the start of the wall’s construction.
Compromises have been offered by the Democrats — including USD $1.3 billion for increasing border security generally — but Trump isn’t willing to abandon one of the major promises of his 2016 election campaign, likely due to backlash he received from his far-right supporters in the media when he initially agreed to drop the idea.
In a nearly 10-minute speech broadcast on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, Trump attempted to frame building the wall as a necessary measure to address what he described as “a humanitarian crisis — a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul“. That message is obviously somewhat at odds with how he originally sold the wall.
Unsurprisingly, the speech was largely bullshit. Trump claimed that the border is currently facing a ‘crisis’, despite the data indicating that border crossing are lower than they were in 2014 and 2016. Trump claimed that the wall would help eliminate drug trafficking, despite the fact that most drug smuggling happens through legal ports of entry. His continued claims that undocumented migrants are bringing high rates of crime with them continue to be completely unsupported by the data (the data actually shows the opposite). What a surprise.
You can watch the full address below, if you want to see first hand how he’s just as bad at reading off a teleprompter as he is at making stuff up on the fly:
You should absolutely watch this instead though: