Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of Donald Trump’s biggest allies in the Senate, said Tuesday that he expects the president to declare a national emergency to get his border wall built — even if he signs the bipartisan spending deal drafted by members of Congress.
USA Today’s Eliza Collins tweeted that Graham expects Trump will “both declare a national emergency and try to find money elsewhere in order to bridge the gap between $1.375 in the Congressional deal and the $5.7 billion he’s demanded for his wall.”
.@LindseyGrahamSC says even if Trump signs the deal, he expects him to both declare a national emergency and try to find money elsewhere in order to bridge the gap between $1.375 in the Congressional deal and the $5.7 billion he's demanded for his wall.# p #3_11 # ad skipped = true #
— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) February 12, 2019# p #4_11 # ad skipped = true #
CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted earlier in the afternoon that Graham had, at the time, not yet spoken to Trump about the deal the president bashed to pool reporters earlier in the day.
Raju noted that Graham wants the president to accept the deal “if it shows he can reprogram money with respect to the detention beds AND if he can use the money to build steel barriers.”
“GOP appropriators say he can,” the CNN reporter noted.
Lindsey Graham, who has yet to speak to Trump on spending deal, says president should accept it if it shows he can reprogram money with respect to the detention beds AND if he can use the money to build steel barriers. GOP appropriators say he can# p #8_11 # ad skipped = true #
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 12, 2019# p #9_11 # ad skipped = true #
In an interview with the Charleston Post & Courier earlier in February, Graham was quoted encouraging Trump to use his emergency powers to get the wall built.
“The best way to do this, if we can’t get a deal with Congress, is for the president to take money that’s already appropriated for national security, unobligated, and apply it to a border barrier,” Graham told his hometown newspaper. “I’m hopeful that we can do that without shutting down the government. I think shutting down the government does not enhance the cause of border security.”