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Friday, January 4, 2019
Trump Ponders 'EMERGENCY' Powers to Build Border WALL
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House after a meeting with Congressional leaders on border security, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Stephen Dinan
President Trump said Friday he could declare a national emergency on the border and order his government to build fencing without needing to go to Congress for additional funding.
“I can do it if I want,” he said, adding, “I may do it.”
He said he’s still interested in trying to get a deal done with Congress on funding his border wall plans, but made clear he hasn’t foreclosed other options for erecting the barrier he promised voters in 2016 would be built, and paid for by Mexico.
Mr. Trump last month had raised the prospect of declaring an emergency and asking the Defense Department to construct barriers outside of the normal congressional appropriations process.
The Pentagon at the time said it had not developed those plans, but said it did have legal authority to build a wall if it were deemed part of a counter-drug operation or part of a national emergency.
The president for months has said the country is facing such an emergency.
Mr. Trump’s comments Friday came after a meeting with congressional leaders on strategies to end the government shutdown, which began two weeks ago after Mr. Trump said he wouldn’t accept any spending bills unless he was given wall money.
That was a reversal for the president, who just days before had signaled through his staff that he would sign the bills, and he would try to find money elsewhere to make good on his campaign wall promise.