U.S. President Donald Trump is still considering a possible declaration of a national emergency in order to circumvent Congress and build a wall along the southern border with Mexico, the White House said on Wednesday.
As the partial shutdown of the federal government over wall funding entered its 19th day, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said a national emergency declaration is “certainly still an option, something that’s on the table.”
Still, Sanders said the White House hoped the administration and U.S. lawmakers could find a solution to the wall funding.
“We’re hopeful, again, that they’ll get serious about doing their jobs and work with us,” Sanders said. “We’ve shown our willingness to work with them.”
Sanders’ comments come after Trump sought to build public support for his demand of $5.7 billion for the border wall in a televised address on Tuesday night.
Trump stopped short of an emergency declaration in his televised speech but repeated his assertion that illegal immigrants and drugs flowing across the southern border are a serious threat to American safety.
Democrats and other opponents of a border wall have threatened to take legal action if Trump issued the order.
By declaring a national emergency, Trump could circumvent Congress’ authority under the U.S. Constitution to appropriate funds and redirect money at his direction. The law allows Congress to override such a decision but would require approval by both the U.S. House of Representatives, where Democrats have a majority, and the Republican-dominated Senate.
Building the wall and having Mexico pay for it was a primary theme of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Democrats have denounced a wall as immoral, inefficient and costly, but said they support additional funding for other border security measures including increased border agents and technology.
Before the partial shutdown began on Dec. 22, Trump said he would be “proud” to close the government over the issue of border security and would not blame Democrats. He has since said they are responsible.
Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott
Trump is furious over news coverage of Mick Mulvaney’s flub — and he’s growing ‘increasingly frustrated and agitated’
President Donald Trump is watching Mick Mulvaney going down on cable news, said one political analyst on CNN Sunday. The criticism of the chief of staff came after Trump spent the weekend watching media coverage of Mulvaney's flub, the network reported.
"Trump has voraciously consumed news coverage about Mulvaney and has become more agitated," the source said according to the report. "Specifically, the President is concerned, according to the source, that Mulvaney is not transitioning enough to the role he is in now -- helping to lead the impeachment inquiry defense from the West Wing."
Trump lashes out at Pelosi for going to Jordan to fix his Syria flub
President Donald Trump tweeted his anger about Speaker Nancey Pelosi (D-CA) taking a delegation of leaders to Jordan to meet with those working on Syria.
"Pelosi is now leading a delegation of 9, including Corrupt Adam Schiff, to Jordan to check out Syria. She should find out why Obama drew The Red Line In the Sand, & then did NOTHING, losing Syria & all respect. I did something, 58 missiles. One million died under Obama’s mistake!" Trump tweeted Sunday.
Vice President Mike Pence went to Turkey last week to attempt to negotiate a ceasefire, but what he ended up with was 120-hour freeze on bombing Kurds.
WATCH: Mike Pompeo goes dead silent when ABC corners him on Ukraine
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on "This Week" Sunday where he was faced with a question about chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's press conference Thursday.
During the press briefing, Mulvaney, who also serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget, confessed that Trump told him Ukraine corruption issues also had to do with the DNC server.
“That he also mentioned to me that the corruption related to the DNC server, absolutely,” said Mulvaney. “No question about it. That’s it and that’s why we held up the money.”
Pompeo said he wasn't going to answer any questions about hypotheticals, which he said host George Stephanopoulos was asking.