The CNN anchor cited Trump’s remarks earlier in the day when he told reporters that despite his demands for $5.7 billion for the barrier’s construction, the project was already underway with “money we have on hand.”
Noting his confusion, Cooper pointed out that “the president said he might declare an emergency to make something happen that he says is already happening.”
Although Trump has described the barrier as a “wall,” having viewed prototypes of the potential structure last March, “nothing that looks anything like this is under construction, let alone finished,” Cooper said.
“What the president seems to be doing now is re-imagining stuff that isn’t really what he really wanted as something that he’s actually wanted all along,” he added. “Make believe is fine when you’re a kid or a real estate developer in New York with no shame, but it’s different ― at least it should be ― when you are president.”
While the president hasn’t backed down on his calls for wall money, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made clear on Thursday that the measure wouldn’t receive the support of Democrats, raising questions over whether lawmakers will be able to strike a deal before the next shutdown kicks in. The deadline for negotiations to conclude is Feb. 15.