The US Defense Department is shifting another $3.8 billion from procurement and other operations towards paying for a wall on the US-Mexican border, official documents sent to the US Congress showed Thursday.
The president declared a national emergency last year to be able to draw federal budget funds already allocated to other needs for the wall, which aims to deter migrants from entering the country illegally.
In January an appeals court backed Trump’s diversion of already-purposed federal budget funds to the project, removing a stay on spending set by a lower court after opponents filed suit.
Multiple courts have said it is illegal for Trump to pillage military funds for his xenophobic border wall. Not one court has given his unlawful power grab a stamp of approval.
We’ll be back in court to block these additional, unauthorized transfers. https://t.co/2a6FXsouaV
— ACLU (@ACLU) February 13, 2020
The Pentagon told Congress it was transferring the $3.8 billion to “counter-drug activities” on the border in support of the Department of Homeland Security.
The money was to be culled from various programs for buying tactical vehicles for the Army National Guard, vessels for the Navy, and combat and transport aircraft for the Navy and Air Force.
Trump promised to build the wall along most of the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) US-Mexico border—paid for by Mexico—during his 2016 presidential campaign.
After he was elected however he sought some $25 billion from Congress but was repeatedly turned back amid opposition to his harsh stance against undocumented migrants already living in the country.
The President’s latest effort to steal Congressionally-appropriated military funding in order to build his wasteful, ineffective border wall undermines our national security and the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 13, 2020
Meanwhile the number of illegal border-crossers detained soared as hundreds of thousands of migrants poured into the US, mostly from Central America, seeking asylum.
A crackdown and changes in policy that made it far more difficult stay in the United States after submitting an asylum request has seen border apprehension numbers plunge in recent months.
The figure stood at fewer than 37,000 last month, from more than 58,000 a year earlier.
Trump says he’s considering Georgia Republican running for Senate as next Director of National Intelligence
Devin Nunes denies Russia is intervening in the 2020 election to support Trump’s reelection
The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee denied reports that Russia was intervening in the 2020 presidential campaign to support Donald Trump's reelection.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was interviewed by Laura Ingraham on Fox News about the breaking news on Russia.
"A senior U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers last week that Russia wants to see President Trump reelected, viewing his administration as more favorable to the Kremlin’s interests, according to people who were briefed on the comments," The Washington Post reported Thursday. "Trump learned about Pierson’s remarks from Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the committee’s ranking Republican and a staunch Trump ally, said one person familiar with the matter."
WATCH: Martin Sheen interrupts Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show with Trump/Putin 2020 bumper sticker
MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday joked about Donald Trump and his running mate, Vladimir Putin, after the bombshell report that Russia was actively intervening in the 2020 presidential election in an effort to reelect the president.
The host returned from a commercial break to share an image "Janet and Martin Sheen texted me."
The image was of a bumper sticker a friend of the Sheen's had made with the Trump/Putin 2020 theme.
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