President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency as a pretext for building his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but the president often went off on strange and unrelated tangents about China, North Korea and other topics.
Trump’s rambling address was an utterly bizarre spectacle even by his own standards — here were the seven craziest moments.
1.) Trump marvels at the economic potential of the communist dictatorship in North Korea. The president once again touted his “great relationship” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and said he could imagine North Korea becoming a major economic hub in the coming years given its location near Russia, China and South Korea.
“It’s right smack in the middle!” Trump said of the country’s location. “Phenomenal!”
2.) Trump once again rants about women being tied up and having tape put over their mouths. While talking about the dangers of undocumented immigrants, Trump once again returned to one of his favorite topics: Women kidnapped by human traffickers.
“You can’t take [women & girls] through ports of entry,” Trump said, describing a need to build a border wall. “You can’t have them tied up in the backseat of a car… they can’t see three women with tape on their mouths or three women whose hands are tied.”
3.) Trump praises China for executing drug dealers. Trump dubiously claimed that there is no problem with drug addiction in China because its government simply has drug dealers killed.
“Their criminal list is much tougher than our criminal list,” the president said of China. “Their criminal list, the drug dealer gets a thing called the death penalty! Our criminal list, a drug dealer gets a thing called, ‘How about a fine!'”
4.) Trump rips his fellow Republicans for not building the wall during his first two years in office. The president seemed to take a veiled shot at former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who for two years did not fight to fund the president’s wall.
“We have a little disappointment for the first year and a half,” he said. “People that should have stepped up didn’t step up. They didn’t step up and they should have. It would’ve been easy.”
5.) Trump admits that his emergency order will likely go down in flames in U.S. courts.
“We will have a national emergency,” Trump said, before adding, “and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the Ninth Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling, we’ll get another bad ruling, then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, then hopefully we’ll get a fair shake, and we’ll win in the Supreme Court.”
6.) Trump rambles about right-wing talk show hosts who say nice things about him. The president gave a special shout out to the conservative pundits who pushed him to shut down the federal government, and he even praised Rush Limbaugh for having the stamina to talk on the radio for three straight hours.
“Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do,” Trump said. “Rush Limbaugh, I think he’s a great guy. For 3 hours, he speaks. He’s got one of the biggest audiences.”
7.) Trump admits he didn’t actually need to sign an emergency order to build the wall.
“I didn’t need to do this,” Trump said of the emergency order. “But I’d rather do it much faster.”
Admitting this could undercut Trump’s legal argument that he had to declare a national emergency to stop border security, as it is difficult to argue that you needed to do something when you admit that you didn’t need to do it.