Trump: I'll 'Probably' Declare an Emergency

President hints about border wall move
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2019 11:05 AM CST
Trump: I'll 'Probably' Declare an Emergency
President Trump speaks to the media as he leaves the White House Thursday.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – President Trump did not, as some expected, declare a national emergency in his Tuesday night speech about the need for a border wall. But Trump made clear on Thursday that the controversial move is still very much a possibility. "If this doesn't work out, probably I will do it," Trump told reporters, with "this" referring to talks with Democrats. "I would almost say definitely." He even added that it would be "surprising to me" if he didn't end up making the declaration, reports the Hill. Trump's comments came as he headed to Texas to visit the Southern border (for an update on that trip, see what he had to say while at the border here). Related coverage on the wall and the related government shutdown, now in Day 20:

  • Notable line: When asked by a reporter if "the buck stops with you over this shutdown," Trump replied with a twist on the classic sentiment once put forth by Harry Truman. "The buck stops with everybody," said Trump, per the Week.
  • Competing messages: Trump on Thursday quoted Steve Doocy of Fox and Friends saying that the president's supporters don't want him to cave on the border wall issue. "I won't!" wrote Trump. Co-host Brian Kilmeade, however, said that an emergency declaration "would be a disaster in the big picture" and would set a "terrible precedent," per the Hill. Kilmeade raised the possibility of a future Democratic president declaring an emergency over climate change.

  • Leaving the room: On Wednesday, Chuck Schumer accused Trump of slamming the table before walking out of a meeting with him and Nancy Pelosi. Trump disputed that account from "Cryin Chuck." He wrote: "After Nancy said no to proper Border Security, I politely said bye-bye and left, no slamming!" Either way, Bloomberg notes that "dramatic exits" have long been used by Trump as a negotiating tactic.
  • Garage sales: The Coast Guard removed an online tip sheet to employees going without pay as a result of the shutdown after the Washington Post asked about it. Among the advice: Hold a garage sale, work as a babysitter, become a dog walker, or work as a mystery shopper. "Bankruptcy is a last option," it said.
  • Vulnerable? NBC News reports that tests of a steel slat prototype for a barrier at the border showed that an ordinary saw could cut through it. The tests were conducted by the Department of Homeland Security. When asked about the issue, Trump said the vulnerable design came about under "previous administrations" and that his barrier would be tougher. NBC notes that the prototype was built during the Trump administration.
  • TSA worker: In a Washington Post op-ed, TSA employee Angel Stephenson writes that working as an airport screener is tough enough: "Now, thanks to the shutdown, we're doing that work without compensation." What's more, her husband is also a TSA officer, so they have zero income at the moment. "When one passenger tried to give me a cash tip, I had to refuse," she writes. "I could lose my job if I accepted, I told her. But thanks for the thought. Instead, tell your congressperson."
  • Under pressure: Republican lawmakers are under increasing pressure to support Democratic bills to open the government, reports the Wall Street Journal. Many, such as Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, support the border wall, but they don't want federal employees in their district to go without pay during the impasse.
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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