In a meeting with network anchors on Tuesday ahead of his address to the nation, the president dismissed his trip to McAllen, a border community where crime is near a 30-year low, as a “photo op” that he was doing because his top communications advisers counseled him to do.
In Texas, he is expected to meet with Border Patrol officials who are being forced to work without pay because of the funding impasse.
The president has said he has reserved the option of declaring a national emergency to fund construction for the wall, perhaps the central promise that he made to his political base during his campaign, and bypassing a legislative solution.
The White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, is to accompany the president to Texas, according to a White House official who declined to be identified to discuss internal matters. Mr. Cipollone would be among those who would presumably provide a legal rationale should Mr. Trump declare an emergency.
.. “I didn’t say they’re going to write me a check for $10 billion or $20 billion,” Mr. Trump said on Thursday. “If Congress approves this trade bill, they’ll pay for the wall many times over. When I say Mexico’s going to pay for the wall, that’s what I mean.”
The new trade deal, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, does not stipulate that Mexico provide funds for the wall, and has not been approved by Congress.
.. The head of the Army Corps of Engineers traveled with Mr. Trump to Texas on Thursday. Redirecting funds from the Army’s construction agency to build the wall is one option Mr. Trump could use in a national emergency.
Mr. Trump said he had the legal authority to make the declaration. “This is a thing that the lawyers tell me is 100 percent,” Mr. Trump said.
If the president were to declare a national emergency, which some legal experts say is within his authority, it is sure to stoke debate in Congress.
To bolster his campaign for the wall, the president has also scheduled an interview with the Fox host Sean Hannity, who will broadcast his show Thursday night from McAllen. Mr. Hannity is one of the president’s highest-profile supporters and is highly influential among his political base.
In a signal that Turkey faces indefinite rule by decree, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Sunday that a state of emergency, introduced as a temporary measure after last year’s failed coup, would continue until the country achieved “welfare and peace.”
The state of emergency allows Mr. Erdogan and his cabinet to issue sweeping decrees without parliamentary oversight or review by the constitutional court, giving him an almost untrammeled grip on power.
.. So far, the decrees have allowed Mr. Erdogan to
- jail more than 40,000 people accused of plotting a failed coup,
- fire or suspend more than 140,000 additional people,
- shut down about 1,500 civil groups,
- arrest at least 120 journalists and
- close more than 150 news media outlets.
.. In late April, a decree issued under the state of emergency was used to block access to Wikipedia.
.. What we’ve seen is that instead of using the state of emergency to counter genuine threats to national security, it’s been abused to stifle criticism of the ruling AK party,”
The precipitating event was, of course, Hitler’s appointment as German chancellor. That was Jan. 30, 1933. Almost exactly a month later, the German parliament building, the Reichstag, was consumed by fire. A Dutch communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, was accused of setting it. (He was subsequently guillotined.) Hitler, declaring a vast communist threat, asked President Paul von Hindenburg for emergency powers. He got them. He kept them until he died.
.. Trump despises dissent and often reacts emotionally to setbacks or challenges.
.. Now, ask yourself what might happen if there were a huge terrorist incident on American soil. Might this man of little knowledge and no restraint attempt to suspend civil liberties? (After all, even Abraham Lincoln did.) His instinctive reaction to flag-burning was all wrong. In addition, he holds the Nixonian view that the law is what he says it is.
.. So great was the urge to trash the status quo that Trump’s lying, bragging, cheating, insulting and breathtaking ignorance did not disqualify him.
.. Paul D. Ryan speaks of Trump as if he’s just had a chat with Ben Franklin — some good ideas, and let bygones be bygones — but this passivity is actually good. Trump needs to be surrounded by political adults. Sooner or later, someone’s going to have to throw a pitcher of cold water in his face.
A pro-government newspaper, meanwhile, published a list of names and photographs of journalists suspected of treachery... The step followed the dismissals of tens of thousands of workers — teachers, bankers, police officers, soldiers, bureaucrats and others — as well as the arrests of thousands accused of ties to the conspiracy... But it has been a common reflex of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to crack down on freedom of expression during times of crisis... The emergency statutes give the government a freer hand to make laws by allowing it to bypass Parliament and to stifle expression it deems harmful to national security... Many Turks, often inclined to believe in conspiracy theories, think that the coup was a hoax staged by the government to provide a pretext to crackdown on its perceived enemies.