Trump Prepared To Declare National Emergency To Build Border Wall

A day after walking out of a meeting with congressional leaders, President Donald Trump on Thursday offered the strongest signals that he is prepared to declare the situation at the border a national emergency if negotiations with Democratic lawmakers fail.

Trump has claimed he has the “absolute right” to declare a national emergency to obtain funding for his controversial border wall, although the move would likely face immediate legal challenges.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House before departing for the border town of McAllen, Texas, Trump indicated he would almost “definitely” use his authority to declare a national emergency if Democrats continue to refuse to fund the wall.

“If this doesn’t work out, probably I will do it, I would almost say definitely,” Trump said. “This is a national emergency.”

“I don’t want to say 100 percent, because maybe something else comes up,” he added. “But if we don’t make a deal, I would say it would be very surprising to me that I would not declare a national emergency and just fund it through the various mechanisms.”

The comments come as Trump is expected to draw attention to what his administration describes as a humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border during his trip to Texas.

The impasse over funding for the border wall has contributed to a partial government shutdown that is now into its twentieth day.

Trump walked out of meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., indicated she remains opposed to providing funding for the wall.

The president claimed in a post on Twitter that he left the meeting after Pelosi said she would still not support funding the wall if he agreed to reopen the government.

“Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Trump tweeted. “I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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