In a speech over a wide range of topics, President Donald Trump attempted to justify his decision to renege on his promise to Republican leadership to sign a continuing resolution authority (CRA) to keep the government operating. Congress agreed to a CRA until February 8, 2019 to avoid a shutdown.
With no federal budget approved for fiscal year 2019, which began October 1, 2018, the government is currently operating on a CRA that is set to expire. Trump initially threatened Democrats that he would be "proud" to shut down the government if he did not get the over $5 billion he wants for his unpopular and ill-advised border wall.
However after backlash and appeals from the GOP, Trump agreed to sign the new CRA and keep the government operational.
But then after pushback from his most fervent supporters who rally behind chants of "build the wall" as well as the people on the couch at Fox and Friends and insults from right-wing personalities like Ann Coulter over his latest concession and lack of any wall on the border or Mexico paying for it, Trump changed his mind again.
The President took the opportunity Thursday to justify his position. He stated:
"A nation without borders is a nation not at all. Without borders, we have the reign of chaos, crime, cartels and believe it or not, coyotes."
Trump read from a prepared speech, but the "believe it or not" before he says "coyotes" appears to be an ad lib. Going off script rarely goes well for the President.
And while human traffickers that prey upon people desperate to enter the United States through the southern border are referred to as "coyotes," the President said the word like he meant the four-legged canine variety.
Watch his remarks here.
President Trump: "Every nation has not only the right but the absolute duty to protect its borders and its citizens… https://t.co/yZdxzXxI54— The Hill (@The Hill)1545367869.0
People who watched the speech overwhelmingly drew the same conclusion...
...the President had no idea he was speaking about the humans who smuggle people across the border rather than the canine that roams the wilds of the Americas.
Does anyone else think Trump looked at the word “coyotes” and thought it meant actual, coyotes??— Christian Nachtrieb (@Christian Nachtrieb)1545338730.0
I think Trump thinks it's actual coyotes. Like, the animal. Lmao https://t.co/3zYDNiHYIx— Secular Talk (@Secular Talk)1545361123.0
Seems like Trump thinks he's talking about the animal coyotes and not the traffickers/guides. 🤦♀️ https://t.co/IPlJ5Zh6Ny— Clara Jeffery (@Clara Jeffery)1545343016.0
Listen to this moron beginning at 20 seconds. When he says “believe it or not, coyotes” it’s obvious that Trump thi… https://t.co/Yae4qI8aqp— Mark D'Truth (@Mark D'Truth)1545368700.0
Just heard @realDonaldTrump say “...and believe it or not coyotes” when referring to things the wall can keep out.… https://t.co/RfbKUXKE53— Kim Cabral (@Kim Cabral)1545356021.0
There is a 97% chance, given the ad lib here, that @realDonaldTrump believes literal four-legged coyotes pose a thr… https://t.co/2fMk9kIhI7— Don Pogreba (@Don Pogreba)1545367975.0
Even when Trump repeated the word later in his speech, every indication pointed to him talking about the animal and not the people who are called coyotes.
@politico I think Trump really believes "coyotes" are of the Canine variety. Should we tell him?— Bill Wong (@Bill Wong)1545353532.0
@realDonaldTrump Can you repeat the part about coyotes smuggling children. #25thAmendmentNow #TrumpShutdown https://t.co/3HdoPQ4pU3— MIKE RYAN #ForThePeople (@MIKE RYAN #ForThePeople)1545349119.0
Once again, people laughed at the President's expense.
And then the government shutdown was averted when someone pointed out to Trump that the whole coyote threat can gen… https://t.co/pKxO2UnlLA— Tabatha Southey (@Tabatha Southey)1545387376.0
Gen. Mattis says Trump deserves to have a Defense Secretary with views more in line with Trump's own. Allow me to… https://t.co/FCX9RK7gFK— Matuno Quid Pro Quo! (@Matuno Quid Pro Quo!)1545377921.0
@ParkerMolloy Can we start calling Trump “Coyote Ugly”— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid)1545363665.0
I know he does like 50 of these a day but hey look trump thinks "coyotes" at the US-Mexico border are actual coyotes https://t.co/39Z42bUctd— Vincent Bevins (@Vincent Bevins)1545351255.0
I feel like Trump’s fear of coyotes should be further explored/exploited https://t.co/il7Q7hPyLP— Ida Tarbell (@Ida Tarbell)1545371460.0
@politico Trump is worried about border coyotes. https://t.co/7REhZtC4HG— Damien Williams (@Damien Williams)1545341496.0
Jim, please, ask trump what he meant by his coyote comment. https://t.co/DuCvsvJ1eD— lv (@lv)1545402573.0
When Trump says, "believe it or not coyotes" are coming over the border, I think he's mainly just incredulous at th… https://t.co/He0TjA6Anl— Ben Towle (@Ben Towle)1545363425.0
Coyotes are coming across the border!!!! Trump seriously thinks his speech writer means these: https://t.co/cJZRzNl5LK— Austin Barker (@Austin Barker)1545349853.0
The current CRA is set to expire on Friday, December 21, 2018. Federal workers were granted a day off for December 24 in advance of the federal holiday on December 25, but it is unclear if they will have jobs to return to on the 26th.