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Trump Punishes State by Giving It Exactly What It Wants

Trump threatens to withhold border wall from California, which sued to stop it
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2018 12:16 PM CST
President Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony honoring Reverend Billy Graham in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building, Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Trump says California won't get its border wall until the entirety of the wall is approved for construction. California is almost certainly OK with that. “I have decided that sections of the Wall that California wants built NOW will not be built until the whole Wall is approved,” Reuters quotes Trump as tweeting on Wednesday. But it's unclear exactly why Trump thinks California wants a border wall, as the state sued the federal government to stop construction of said wall. In fact, in the very same tweet Trump referred to the lawsuit after a federal judge ruled against the state of California and environmental groups. “Big victory yesterday with ruling from the courts that allows us to proceed," he tweeted. "OUR COUNTRY MUST HAVE BORDER SECURITY!”

California and environmental groups argued John Kelly, then secretary of Homeland Security, overstepped his powers when he waived environmental reviews for the border wall, which experts say could harm threatened and endangered species, NBC News reports. US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel ruled they weren't able to prove that. If the name sounds familiar, it's because Curiel is the same "Mexican" judge Trump claimed couldn't be objective because of his heritage, according to Politico. Trump also called Curiel, who was born in Indiana, a "hater" and "very hostile." Curiel ruled a decision on the wall should be left up to politicians, not the courts. "It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices,” he wrote in his decision.

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