President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday to secure funding for a proposed border wall, but many Democrats and some Republicans have criticized the move.
“I didn’t need to do this: I just wanted to (build the wall) much faster,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden. “The only reason we’re up here talking about this is because of the election.”
Many Twitter accounts for Democrats and left-leaning groups and politicians were quick to latch onto the Trump quote and soon declared it a “#FakeTrumpEmergency,” which started trending nationally Friday morning on the social media platform with other variants like “#FAKENationalEmergency” and “#TrumpFakeEmergency.”
More: National emergencies are common; declaring one for a border wall is not
More: ‘Every remedy available’: Here’s what Democrats vow to do to rebuff Trump’s national emergency order on the border wall
Trump said he expects a legal battle over his declaration, but said, “We’ll win, I think.”
Democratic House and Senate leaders Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a joint statement while Trump was speaking, saying the president was “outside the bounds of the law.”
Trump has argued for building a wall by citing what he says are security concerns at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“It’s very simple: We want to stop drugs from coming into our country, we want to stop gangs from coming into our country,” Trump said.
However, experts say an analysis of data from the southern border indicates that the vast majority of narcotics enters through U.S. ports of entry, not the wide swaths of border in between where additional barriers could be erected.
Contributing: Michael Collins, David Jackson and John Fritze, USA TODAY
Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller