President Trump continues to treat the presidency as a reality TV show. On Friday afternoon he took to Twitter to tease a “major announcement”, saying it will be broadcast tomorrow “live from the White House.”
“I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse,” Trump wrote.
The message raises the possibility that the president is planning to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and win funding for his wall — while ending the partial government shutdown at the same time.
Trump has repeatedly flirted with the idea of declaring a national emergency, though this week he seemed to back away from that proposal, which some critics warned could set a negative precedent.
Trump and the Democratic-controlled House have battled for weeks over the shutdown, which was triggered by the president’s demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a border wall.
The fight intensified on Thursday after cancelled a congressional delegation from traveling overseas on military flights during the shutdown. That effectively canceled a trip House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats had planned to take to Afghanistan this weekend.
To add insult to injury, hours after Trump abruptly canceled Pelosi’s flight on a military aircraft to visit troops in a war zone, Melania Trump jetted down to Mar-a-Lago in Florida for vacation — on an Air Force plane.
I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019
Polls suggest Trump is losing the battle for public opinion over the shutdown, another factor in the president’s decision of what to do next.