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Trump: 'May declare a national emergency' to build wall

Posted: 5:54 AM, Jan 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-06 15:30:40Z

President Donald Trump said Sunday that he might declare a national emergency imminently to secure money for his border wall.

"I may declare a national emergency dependent on what's going to happen over the next few days," Trump told reporters as he left the White House for Camp David.

A White House official told CNN on Saturday that Trump was leaning towards declaring a national emergency to use military funding for his wall. Trump has demanded Congress appropriate money for the wall, and his dispute with Democrats over the issue pushed the government into an ongoing partial shutdown.

Trump said on Friday he "may" attempt to invoke emergency powers to build the wall, although such a move would be expected to face legal action.

The idea has met pushback from some, including California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that he did not think Trump would be able to use emergency powers to build a wall at the southern border.

"Look, if Harry Truman couldn't nationalize the steel industry during wartime, this President doesn't have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion dollar wall on the border," Schiff said. "So that's a non-starter."

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said in a separate interview on the same program that talks on Saturday to reopen the government "did not make much progress."