The left-leaning fact-checker at the Washington Post hit Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Tuesday with three Pinocchios for claiming that President Donald Trump had transferred “$10s of millions” for the national emergency on the border, but “$0” for the national emergency on opioids.
When Ocasio-Cortez made that claim on Friday, it was already transparently misleading: Trump sees the “wall” as a way to stop drugs.
The wall IS part of a policy to stop opioids. Do you support it now? https://t.co/PB3UDK41vM
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) March 8, 2019
But the Post‘s Glenn Kessler also took issue with the underlying claim, noting the basic difference between the two situations: “[T]he situations are not comparable. Trump wanted almost $6 billion for his wall, which Congress refused. But Congress acted to give the administration more than $6 billion for the opioid crisis, so there was little need for him to transfer funds without congressional authorization.”
The Post‘s explanation is also somewhat lacking: Trump did not transfer funds from other priorities to border security “without congressional authorization.” As Breitbart News explained last month, only $3.6 billion of the roughly $8 billion the president wants to transfer to the wall is covered by the national emergency declaration; there is no question that he is authorized to allocate the bulk of the funds to building a barrier.
And as for the emergency funds, their use is, in fact, authorized under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which Congress has never seen fit to revise despite 58 prior national emergency declarations.
Kessler noted that Ocasio-Cortez’s misleading tweet on the subject had earned a combined total of likes and retweets in excess of 50,000, despite being misleading.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.