President Trump today at the White House.
President Trump says he might declare a national emergency and order the military to build his wall. Alex Wong / Getty Images

Earlier today, Seattle Democratic Congressman Adam Smith became the Chair of the House Armed Services Committee—and he's wasting no time in using his post to call out what he says is President Trump's continued misuse of the US military.

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In a Rose Garden announcement, President Trump just said he may declare a national emergency and order the military to build his US-Mexico border (a wall Trump has forced a government shutdown over, a wall that Trump has repeatedly said Mexico will pay for).

Smith, in his first broadside against Trump as Chair of the Armed Services Committee, countered that the president is "using an unwise, weak, and irresponsible legal gimmick to circumvent Congress and the American people’s opposition to using taxpayer money for the construction of an unnecessary wall."

Here's Smith's full statement:

President Trump is considering a plan to misuse an emergency authority and divert substantial resources from our military to build a wall on the southern border. This is as clear a statement as any that President Trump values the construction of his wall over military readiness and support for our troops and their families. Diverting money from these military construction accounts could have substantial impacts for servicemembers at installations across the country and on defense projects that are important in supporting readiness, training, operations, and quality of life for military personnel and their families.

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Moreover, by abusing this authority, President Trump would be saying that he does not actually believe all the money he requests for our country’s defense is needed for legitimate national security purposes. That would raise major questions about his credibility when he requests his next defense budget from Congress.

I am adamantly opposed to President Trump using an unwise, weak, and irresponsible legal gimmick to circumvent Congress and the American people’s opposition to using taxpayer money for the construction of an unnecessary wall.

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