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Trump claims he needs money for ‘border security’ crisis — but he already has billions still unspent

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President Donald Trump has spent the past five days of the government shutdown holding federal workers hostage until Democrats meet his $5 billion ransom over a wall. But there’s one major problem with his latest budget showdown.

Trump’s cadre of cable news shills argue that Democrats have already funded his “wall” in previous votes. Conservative Steve Cortes claimed Democrats supported “border security” this year and last year in budget bills. The reason they’re not doing so now, according to Cortes, is that it’s Trump’s wall isn’t President Barack Obama’s idea.

While the talking point sounds like it was an idea some communications intern thought was “genius,” it puts Trump in an awkward predicament. If Democrats already funded Trump’s “border security” in previous years, why does Trump need more money now?

Closer examination reveals the Democrats supported funding of border security in the previous spending bill and it even included $1.6 billion for a border fence. At that time, Trump was demanding $25 billion for his concrete wall. But the president hasn’t even used the money he got this year.

“We’re absolutely willing to fund border security,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

“The American people want us to spend money in a smart way,” he continued. “Five billion dollars is a lot of money … to spend it on a 4th-century strategy rather than on stuff that actually improves border security — it’s something that we’re just not going to do …. Border security all the way. In fact, again, the president has a lot of money we gave him last year for border security and he’s not using it.”

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Merkley explained that Trump is “sitting on” over $1 billion and he’s only spent six percent of it.

Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) made the same observation, suggesting the president use the money he’s got first.

Meanwhile, 59 percent of Americans don’t want to fund Trump’s wall, a CBS poll found. Trump has claimed until very recently that Americans would not foot the bill for his project.

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“Mexico will pay for it, believe me,” Trump told Americans. “It’s so easy. Just rely on me.”

It begs the question: if the president truly wanted to secure the border, why isn’t he spending the money he has to do it? It could be that Trump and the GOP don’t actually want border security and instead want to stage a fight with the new Democratic Congress to see if they’ll cave.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quit’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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