Terrified Todd: What If Trump’s National Emergency Is Found Constitutional?!

The liberal media were irate at President Trump for declaring a national emergency in order to address the crisis on the U.S./Mexico border, but they were looking forward to other liberal organizations challenging the move in court. During NBC’s Sunday Today, political director Chuck Todd was confident the national emergency would be struck down but feared what would happen if the courts somehow upheld it.

Answering a question from fill-in anchor Hallie Jackson about how he saw it playing out legally, Todd was sure the President would have a hard time convincing a court. “Well, legally I think it – it – it, frankly, is I think a huge uphill battle for the President,” he said.

Todd was also fearful of a court ruling in favor of the President: “And we can talk about the unintended consequences if it actually is allowed to be seen as constitutional. I don't think we fully appreciate what would happen if this is allowed to be constitutional. It would forever change the way the Congress decides how money is spent and how presidents decide to spend it.”

After admitting that he understood that declaring a national emergency was the best political option for President Trump, Todd once again began to fear monger:

 

 

But let me tell you, Hallie, I don't think we focus enough. What happens if this is found to be constitutional? It, again-- It will forever change the relationships between these two branches of government to the point of you can argue it would completely unravel the system of checks and balances. At least for when it comes to how taxpayer money is spent.

That was just pure hyperbolic partisan spin. If a court were to uphold President Trump’s national emergency declaration, Congress would still hold the power of the purse and the ruling wouldn’t create some kind of line-item veto power. It could just affirm that the president did have the power to decide what constituted a national emergency. Todd didn’t seem to have an issue with the other 30-plus ongoing national emergencies.

Before the topic moved on to the Democratic Party’s 2020 field, Todd reiterated his belief that the national emergency was doomed to fail in court. “I would say it’s not a political win for the President but it prevented, I think, embarrassment for him. And that’s what he was worried about,” he claimed presumably through some form of divination. “At least losing in the courts gives him another foil. He can either complain about Democrats, complain about the media, or complain about judges.”

The transcript was below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Sunday Today
February 17, 2019
8:08:45 a.m. Eastern

HALLIE JACKSON: So, President Trump is up and tweeting. He’s talking about SNL, the media, his approval ratings. But I can tell you what's on the minds of his advisers inside the White House; are these legal challenges that this national emergency will face. How do you see this playing out legally? Then on the political side, since some Republicans don't love this idea.

CHUCK TODD: Well, legally I think it – it – it, frankly, is I think a huge uphill battle for the President. And we can talk about the unintended consequences if it actually is allowed to be seen as constitutional. I don't think we fully appreciate what would happen if this is allowed to be constitutional. It would forever change the way the Congress decides how money is spent and how presidents decide to spend it.

But look at the political options he had. And you actually-- When you start to look at the three options the President faced, this is the best political option he could pick. Option one was to go back to Congress to ask for more money. He admitted he did not have the patience for that. Option two was the shutdown. His party on Congress didn’t have the patience for that. So, option three is this. Losing in courts at least shows him fighting. And so, for his base, that is a message he can send going to 2020 and they can organize around it.

But let me tell you, Hallie, I don't think we focus enough. What happens if this is found to be constitutional? It, again-- It will forever change the relationships between these two branches of government to the point of you can argue it would completely unravel the system of checks and balances. At least for when it comes to how taxpayer money is spent.

JACKSON: And that's something a lot of lawmakers are watching. When you look at it through sort of a political lens, Chuck, is it a political win for the President? Do you think Democrats see it as a political win for them? Or, is it too early to say right now?

TODD: Look, I would say it’s not a political win for the President but it prevented, I think, embarrassment for him. And that’s what he was worried about. The other two options: another shutdown or admitting that this was a compromise and he's going back for later. That, I think, he thought would be politically more painful for him and harder for him to come back from. At least losing in the courts gives him another foil. He can either complain about Democrats, complain about the media, or complain about judges. Having a foil is something that the President always wants to have and I think, in this case, this was the best of three bad options.

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