President Donald Trump marveled that any Senate Republican could vote against his decision to declare a National Emergency on the Southern border in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News in the Oval Office on Monday. But Trump vowed again that he would veto the measure regardless of whether it passes the Senate.
Trump suggested that Democrats in the Senate and the handful of Republicans planning to vote to block the national emergency declaration are on the losing side of the immigration issue in the eyes of the public. He argued that, generally speaking, immigration is an 80/20 issue, meaning that 80 percent–or the vast majority of Americans–want the border secured, whereas just 20 percent support continued mass illegal immigration.
“We have a vote coming up on this whole national emergency thing it’s an 80/20 issue in our favor, it’s border security, a wall, no crime versus open borders and nothing but crime,” Trump said. “Forty-seven Democrats will probably vote for the 20 percent issue, and with the Republicans, we have some that don’t vote for it. It’s hard to believe actually.”
Currently, it would only take four Senate Republicans to oppose the president’s declaration to send the bill to his desk. The vote is schedule for Thursday in the U.S. Senate.
Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Rand Paul (R-KY) have already signaled their decision to join Democrats by opposing the president’s border national emergency declaration. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) has also stated his opposition, but has signaled that he might be open to changing his mind.
Vice President Mike Pence met with Republican Senators on Tuesday to help drum up support for the president.
Trump reserved judgment when asked in Monday’s Oval Office interview by Breitbart News senior White House reporter Charlie Spiering if he was satisfied with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s handling of the Senate vote.
“Well I can’t tell you until I see what happens,” he replied. “But I can tell you this, in Republican circles … I know what the people want and they want border security and they want walls. They want border security, you can’t have it without the wall, or without the barriers, or whatever, you can call it whatever you want.”
The president repeated his promise to veto the legislative effort led by Democrats to check his executive power.
“I’ll have to let you know, I mean we’ll have to see what happens, in any event, it’s going to be vetoed, ok?” he replied.
Trump appeared proud of House Republicans for uniting behind his border security agenda.
“The House–unfortunately, they don’t have quite the numbers yet–has been unbelievable in how they’ve been, you notice the support has been unwavering?” he asked. “They have been, it’s like a different place. The spirit in the House has been great and some senators have been fantastic.”
Alexander Marlow is the Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart News, Matthew Boyle is the Washington Political Editor of Breitbart News, Amanda House is the Deputy Political Editor of Breitbart News, and Charlie Spiering is the Senior White House Correspondent for Breitbart News.