Donald Trump didn’t just lose any old Senate vote on Thursday. He didn’t even just lose a vote on his signature issue. When 12 Republicans voted to block Trump’s national emergency declaration, they did so despite Trump’s personal lobbying and insistence that the vote was about Donald Trump. The Washington Post reports that, in calls to Republican senators, “the president spoke of the battle almost exclusively in personal terms — telling them they would be voting against him while brushing aside constitutional concerns over his attempt to reroute billions of federal dollars for a border wall.”
And it didn’t work on a dozen Republicans. The threats, the me-me-me, fizzled into what will be Trump’s first veto in more than two years.
In fact, the me-me-me approach may have hurt Trump’s effort. Republicans asked for information to put them on solid ground in opposing the resolution, and the White House did not provide it. The Defense Department didn’t tell senators what military construction projects would be cut. Mike Pence was Trump’s key negotiator with Congress, but he apparently wasn’t empowered to make a meaningful deal.
So Trump has notified the networks that he will speak from the Oval Office at 3:30 today, where he will veto the not-an-emergency congressional resolution. It then goes back to the House for an override vote. Lawmakers don’t have enough votes to override the veto, but passage of the resolution in the Senate after it passed the House last month is nevertheless an embarrassing blow to Trump delivered by his own party over the President’s top campaign pledge of a wall at the US-Mexico border.
Trump expected to veto bill today to halt his national emergency. Would then return bill to CapHill. Would go to the House because that’s where the bill originated. House lacks the votes to override. Override attempt slated for March 26. Will be about 40 votes shy— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 15, 2019
As members of Congress head back to their states and districts for a week prior to a vote to override the veto, they might recall that they solemnly swore an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” not the president of their party or a border wall.— Bill “Slightly Dangerous” Kristol (@BillKristol) March 15, 2019
If Trump vetoes Congress’s rejection of his faux emergency to build his vanity wall and Congress (read:GOP) doesn’t OVERRIDE HIS VETO, when history is written about how dictatorship came to American democracy, this will be the opening chapter! https://t.co/oPW5U2e4OT— John Dean (@JohnWDean) March 14, 2019
UPDATE: 3:40pm — No sign of an Oval Office address but Trump had an open-to-press meeting with reporters:
Per pool: Trump called the terror attack a “horrible, horrible thing” and said he called the PM to convey US “sorrow,” then turned to “crimes of all kinds coming through our southern border.” He added, “People hate the word invasion, but that’s what it is.”— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 15, 2019
To be clear, Trump is holding this availability to sign his veto of the congressional resolution to end his immigration emergency. He added some remarks about the New Zealand attack at the top.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 15, 2019
Preparing to sign veto, POTUS says, “People hate the word invasion, but that’s what it is” and that there’s “nowhere left to hold all of the people that we’re capturing,” per pool.— Eliana Johnson (@elianayjohnson) March 15, 2019
I think he has the players mixed up. He just used the same language as the New Zealand terrorist.
Update – 3:55 pm — Guess it isn’t a big address.
POTUS has signed the first veto of his presidency, per pool, and he handed his pen to an angel mom. White House invites sheriffs and angel parents to this event.— Eliana Johnson (@elianayjohnson) March 15, 2019
JUST IN: Trump signs veto of congressional resolution that aimed to end his national emergency declaration on border security pic.twitter.com/LGhp7tBOiD— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 15, 2019
Q: Do you see rising white nationalism?— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 15, 2019
Pres Trump: “I don't really, I think it’s a small group of people.”
Reminder: Multiple experts and organizations have said over and over again that there is a rise in what nationalism and white extremism. Some argue Trump is adding to that.