Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Why Trump is declaring an emergency

Donald Trump giving a speech, with "Build the Wall" in the background
President Trump speaks in El Paso, N.M. on Monday. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

President Trump liked the idea of declaring a national emergency because it's the maximalist, most dramatic option.

Between the lines: Trump never gravitates towards complexity. And the reprogramming of funds to allow more wall spending, without declaring an emergency, would have been complicated to explain to voters.

Reality check: Trump continues pushing false claims at El Paso rally

President Trump and Beto O'Rourke split screen.
Photo: Joe Raedle and Christ Chavez via Getty Images

President Trump made a number of false claims Monday night during his rally in El Paso as he lobbied for building a southern border wall — including a claim that the arena the rally was held in could fit 8,000 people and that the El Paso Fire Department allowed him to let in 10,000.

Reality check: The fire department said the arena is actually capable of holding even fewer people than that — about 6,500 — and that they did not give Trump permission to admit people beyond the capacity, per El Paso Times. Trump also underestimated the size of Beto O’Rourke’s competing rally, claiming there were between 15 and 300 people. Estimates suggest O'Rourke had between 7,000 and 15,000 people in attendance.

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