President Donald Trump said Thursday morning he will almost certainly declare a national emergency at the southern border if Democratic leaders refuse to give in to his demand for a barrier fund.
“I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency. The lawyers have so advised me,” Trump told reporters before departing for a trip to McAllen, Texas. “I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency, I haven’t done it yet. I may do it. If this doesn’t work out I would almost say definitely.”
Trump has floated the idea in recent days that he may declare a national emergency at the southern border under his authority as commander in chief, which would then authorize him to begin construction on the wall with military funds. (RELATED: Here’s What Would Happen If Trump Declared A National Emergency To Build The Wall)
Trump’s comments come two days after a 9-minute national address from the Oval Office, which noted a migrant crisis on the southern border and emphasized the need for a border wall. Trump is demanding $5.7 billion for border wall funding, but Democrats are saying they will not negotiate with him until the government is reopened.
Democrats previously said they would offer no more than $1.6 billion in funding for border security. The partial government shutdown has now entered its 19th day, the effects of which are being felt throughout the country.
Trump is following his Oval Office address with a visit to the border at McAllen, Texas.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told The Daily Caller on Tuesday that he believes Trump will “lay out the argument on why the wall is necessary, he’s going to try to work with Congress, and if he can’t get the funds, he’s going to think outside the box and do what he needs to do to secure the American public.”
Judd added that he believes Trump will eventually declare a state of emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border and use military funds to build the border wall.