Veteran journalist Dan Rather zinged President Donald Trump in a tweet Thursday, mocking the desperation of his “raid” on the Pentagon’s budget to finally build his southern border wall that no one else will pay for.
To no one’s surprise, Trump failed to get any funds from Mexico, despite his vow to do so during his presidential campaign. He was also unable to wrest money from Congress. So the president declared a national emergency early this year in order to use Pentagon funds — even though he admitted in a speech at the time: “I didn’t need to do this ... but I’d rather do it faster.”
The $3.6 billion money-grab will be pulled from international and domestic construction and maintenance projects for the Defense Department — and from education for the children of service members. Projects affected will include facilities used to store hazardous waste, repair Navy ships and conduct cyber-operations in 23 states, three U.S. territories and 19 countries. Puerto Rico, which is continually bashed by Trump, will lose about $400 million in funds, CNN reported.
The Pentagon is already pleading with Congress to replace the money that’s being shifted to the border, according to The Associated Press.
The funding switch was attacked by Democrats — and Republicans. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) complained that “Congress has been ceding far too much powers to the executive branch for decades, and it is far past time for Congress to restore the proper balance of power.”
Even Republicans who backed Trump’s emergency move have found that their states will sacrifice millions in funding. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is losing a $63 million middle school at Fort Campbell.
Diverting funds “meant to support U.S. national security interests so that he can build a border wall only makes us less safe,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a statement. “Taking money away from our military ... will mean we are less equipped to tackle threats here at home and abroad.”
Critics on Twitter had a few things to say about Rather’s dig.