However, the president announced his decision during a free-wheeling, half-hour long press conference where he spoke about a number of topics including China, trade deals, the economy, and the size of his crowd during a rally in El Paso, Texas, among other things.
The announcement was made without a teleprompter, which left the president starting the highly anticipated remarks by discussing a variety of typical talking points that had nothing to do with the southern border.
In case your wondering: the President is speaking without a TelePrompTer pic.twitter.com/tCL1X3oOul
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) February 15, 2019
The wide range of things the president spoke about that was added to the national emergency declaration was not lost on people on Twitter, many of whom criticized the president for it.
This is just a free form MAGA rally speech with a national emergency declaration kind of gaffer taped in there.
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) February 15, 2019
The emergency is so pressing and dire that we're going to divert and talk about China for awhile
— Jonathan Tamari (@JonathanTamari) February 15, 2019
Man, this emergency is really taking a backseat to whatever is on Trump’s mind.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) February 15, 2019
— Bob (@tterdnurb) February 15, 2019
— Vittorio Mauriello (@vee_mo) February 15, 2019
At one point, Trump went on a sing-songy tangent about how the courts would handle his national emergency.
That moment Trump went on about what might happen next:
"We will have a national emergency. And we will then be sued… And we will possibly get a bad ruling. And then we will get another bad ruling. And then we will end up in the Supreme Court." pic.twitter.com/W26NdYqkR6
— POLITICO (@politico) February 15, 2019
He also mocked Chinese President Xi Jinping while discussing fentanyl, saying “We give death penalty.”
Here's the moment when President Trump affected a fake "Chinese" accent to imitate China's President Xi Jinping.
"We give death penalty to people that sell drugs," Trump said, imitating Xi. "End of story." pic.twitter.com/GzAPqsNL8u
— noor (@nooralsibai) February 15, 2019
HOLY SHIT TRUMP IS MIMICKING THE ACCENT OF CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING.
— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) February 15, 2019
Trump just seemed to try and do President Xi's accent.
— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) February 15, 2019
Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) are planning on using Congress to push back against the emergency declaration. The Hill reports the two lawmakers are planning on introducing a bill that would block it.