California Gov. Gavin Newsom blasted President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency Friday and accused him of forgetting about the “real emergency” needs of survivors of the disastrous Camp Fire that destroyed most of the town of Paradise and killed 86 people.
President Trump is manufacturing a crisis and declaring a made-up “national emergency” in order to seize power. This “emergency” is a national disgrace — and the blame lays solely at the feet of the President.
Our message to the White House is simple: CA will see you in court.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) February 15, 2019
Newsom said California plans to join several other states in a lawsuit to challenge Trump’s national emergency declaration. California has already filed at least 45 lawsuits against the Trump administration on a variety of issues and secured 26 wins, although some cases are still ongoing, according to the office of state Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
“Donald Trump, we’ll see you in court,” Newsom said. “Fortunately, Donald is not the last word — the courts will be the last word.”
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney disclosed Friday that Trump intends to put together $8 billion in funds for wall construction along the U.S.-Mexico border. Congress already set aside more than $1.3 billion for the Homeland Security Department in a funding bill, and other money is expected to come from the Pentagon, including $2.5 billion from the military’s fund for counter-narcotics activities. There’s also $3.6 billion expected to be taken from the military’s construction budget and $600 million in Treasury Department drug forfeiture funds.
“No other state will be more harmed than the state of California because of the magnitude of the money,” the governor said. He said there is a risk California could lose funds for counter-narcotics efforts at the border as well as for local task forces and other operations inland that target drugs.
Newsom last week said he plans to keep 100 of the 360 California National Guard troops at the border to combat drug trafficking, a deployment historically financed by the federal government. He said the emergency declaration could impact funding for the Guard deployment.
According to Newsom, the work that Guard troops and federal agencies have been doing to fight drug cartels and illicit drugs such as fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine within the state is now being put at risk for Trump’s “vanity project.”
The governor called Trump’s planned border wall “a monument to stupidity” and added that those who believe large amounts of drugs are being carried on backpacks across the border are “delusional.” Rather, he said drugs are coming through the ports of entry and vehicles, including tractor-trailers, drones, airplanes and boats.
Newsom said Trump’s border wall and the emergency action will make the drug problem worse, not better.
“The legitimate crisis with drugs in this nation can be addressed appropriately and thoughtfully,” Newsom said. “We want to work collaboratively, and we want to work in the spirit of partnership. I don’t want to be a sparring partner with President Trump.”
However, the California politician said, Trump has “made it all but impossible when he plays these games and manufactures a crisis and creates the conditions where we have no other choice than to sue the administration and join other states and join our partners in the federal government to do the same.”