Trump: I May Call a National Emergency

The president spoke in the White House Rose Garden
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2019 2:35 PM CST
Updated Jan 5, 2019 3:10 PM CST
Trump: The Shutdown Is Really a 'Strike'
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House after meeting with lawmakers about border security, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/ Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Trump opened a meeting with Congressional leaders Friday by launching into a 15-minute profanity-laced tirade and saying the federal shutdown is really a "strike," sources tell CNN. Trump also turned to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and touched on the issue of impeachment, prompting her to remind him that their meeting was about the shutdown, not impeachment. A White House official said the meeting also got pretty heated over facts regarding the US border, per the Wall Street Journal: "I reject your facts," Pelosi apparently told Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was reciting border-related statistics. "These aren't my facts," said Nielsen. "These are the facts."

Trump followed the two-hour meeting with a Rose Garden press conference in which he made an unexpected threat: "We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country," he said. "I may do it." Trump didn't explain how that would lead to a border wall, but the Journal says a declaration of national emergency does allow the administration to use military-budget funds that are already designated for construction projects. A House Appropriations Committee rep calls the idea "legally dubious" and says Congress would "challenge" the move. Trump also rolled out apparent border stats related to drugs, crime, and other issues, which CNN breaks down here. (The Journal says Trump uttered the biggest doozy of them all.)

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