President Donald Trump appeared closer to declaring a state of emergency to respond to the border crisis on Thursday.
“I have the absolute right to declare an emergency. I haven’t done it yet. I may do it if this doesn’t work out,” Trump said. “I probably will do it. I would almost say definitely.”
The president spoke to reporters as he left the White House to visit the border in Texas to highlight his demands for more border security funding.
Trump said that the legal grounds for declaring a state of emergency were “100 percent,” but added it was the easy path forward in the ongoing shutdown fight.
“I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency. The lawyers have advised me,” Trump said. “I’m not prepared not to do that yet, but if I have to, I will. I have no doubt about it. I will.”
He said he still preferred to make a deal with Democrats on border security, but indicated that he had no qualms about doing so.
“We’re either going to have a win, make a compromise because I think a compromise is a win for everybody, or I will declare a national emergency,” Trump said.
The partial government shutdown is now in its 20th day, as Democrats refuse to compromise with the president.
“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,” he said.
Trump said there were several ways to fund the border wall, after declaring a state of emergency.
“We have plenty of funds if there is a national emergency, there are a lot of funds,” he said. “We have a tremendous amount of funds.”