On Trump’s way out of the White House to head to Texas, he took a few minutes to take questions from the press.
And of course, one of the first questions was about using a national emergency to build the wall.
Here’s what he had to say:
"I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency … I'm not prepared to do that yet, but if I have to, I will," President Trump says.
"If this doesn't work out, probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely," he adds https://t.co/viHiOPCJel pic.twitter.com/0hK4YTOQix
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 10, 2019
As you can see from the tweet, Trump said he has the authority to declare a national emergency and that he will ‘almost definitely’ do so if the government shutdown doesn’t work out for him.
Whether he does it in the end or not, I think he’s using the idea of a ‘national emergency’ as leverage over the Democrats to tell them they might as well fund the wall because it’s going to get done, one way or the other.
He said later on, in response to another question about declaring a national emergency, that there are plenty of funds if he chooses to go that route.