President Donald Trump said he is nearing a decision to declare a national emergency on the southern border, which he was visiting in person Thursday despite earlier reservations about taking the trip.
The President warned as he departed the White House he would take the step — which would be subject to immediate legal challenge — if talks with Democrats continue to crumble. Trump stormed out of a meeting with Democratic leaders a day earlier, insisting they weren’t ready to deal.
The standoff has prompted a partial government shutdown that has now stretched 20 days. Many federal workers will miss their first paychecks on Friday.
“If this doesn’t work out, probably I will do it, I would almost say definitely,” Trump said. “This is a national emergency.”
Inching closer to using executive authority allowing him to repurpose federal funds for a border wall without congressional approval, Trump said his lawyers have advised him he’s within his rights to take the step. And he suggested there are alternate methods of securing funds outside of new legislation.