President Donald Trump hinted Friday that he’s leaning toward announcing a national emergency on the border and could do it during his State of the Union address.
He told reporters he’s ‘certainly thinking about’ making the declaration. ‘I think there’s a good chance we’ll have to do that,’ he said.
Asked if he was suggesting he’ll make the announcement on Tuesday night, Trump replied: ‘What I’m saying is listen closely to the State of the Union. I think you’ll find it very exciting.’
President Donald Trump hinted Friday that he’s leaning toward announcing a national emergency on the border during his State of the Union address
Talks: Trump dropped his hint that he’s moving toward a national emergency declaration at the border at a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House about ‘human trafficking’. Others attending included (rear, right) Ivanka Trump and (second from right) Kellyanne Conway
He told reporters on Friday afternoon that he’s ‘certainly thinking about’ making the declaration that would allow him to build his border wall
Trump has been saying for weeks that he could declare a national emergency at the border to free up manpower and funds to build the border wall that Democrats’ have steadfastly opposed.
The order would almost immediately be challenged. Trump said Friday he believes it would be hard for the courts to keep him from exercising the authority, however.
‘We have very, very strong legal standing, it would be very hard to do that. But they tend to go to the Ninth Circuit and when they go to the Ninth Circuit, things happen,’ he said of the panel that’s kept his other executive actions from going into immediate effect.
President Trump said that he’s already ‘building a lot of wall’ and will continue to do with ‘funds on hand’ that appropriators gave him for fencing.
‘We’re negotiating very tough prices, we’ve designed a much better looking wall that is also actually a better wall, which is actually an interesting combination – it’s far more beautiful and it’s better – it’s much more protective,’ he revealed.
He refused to say outright if he’s planning to declare a national emergency, cryptically telling a reporter: ‘I don’t want to say, you’ll hear the State of the Union, and then you’ll see what happens right after the State of the Union.’
If Trump declares a national emergency, it could scuttle a deal on Capitol Hill.
A bipartisan panel of legislators are looking for ways to satisfy his request by Feb. 15 and demands from their own caucus that they withhold $5.7 billion in taxpayer funds that Trump says he needs to finish his border barrier.
The president said repeatedly this week that they are ‘wasting their time’ on talks unless the proposal includes his border wall.
‘We will be looking at a national emergency, because I don’t think anything’s going to happen. I don’t think Democrats want border security. And when I hear them talk about the fact that walls are immoral and walls don’t work – they know they work,’ Trump contended.
He introduced the mantra last week that America should ‘build a wall’ and ‘crime will fall’ as he tried to sell his border security package.
‘The chant now should be “Finish the Wall!” because we’re building a lot of wall,’ he claimed on Friday. ‘I could see we’re getting nowhere with the Democrats, we’re not going to get anywhere with them, it’s going to be part of their campaign, but I don’t think it’s good politically.’
Trump said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ‘should be ashamed of herself because she’s hurting a lot of people’ with her position that a wall is immoral.
‘I think the Democrats should be ashamed of themselves. In all fairness to the Democrats, many of them want the wall, and I see it.’ he insisted. ‘They’re just dying to say what they want to say, but they can’t say it as well as they would be able to if they were allowed to do it.’
Democrats who worry they’re in for a border security lesson on Tuesday night, may want to prepare for a lecture on late-term abortion from the president, instead
GOP lawmakers have joined their Democratic colleagues in saying that Trump should adhere by the legislative process rather than taking matters into his own hands with a national emergency declaration.
Trump suggested Friday that it is his belief that by taking the wall off the table, he could move along immigration reform discussions.
‘Actually having a national emergency does help the process. It would certainly help the process. What would help a lot is if the Democrats could actually be honest. They’re not being honest,’ Trump accused on Friday afternoon. ‘I like to hear what they talk about in their rooms when they go back.’
Democrats who worry they’re in for a border security lesson on Tuesday night, may want to prepare for a lecture on late-term abortion from the president, as well.
Trump is expected to rail against bills in Virginia and New York that would relax legal restrictions on the practice in his State of the Union address, the White House indicated on Friday.
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway suggested, in response to a question from DailyMail.com on the theme of Trump’s speech, that the president would denounce the measures in the primetime address.
‘I’m not going to tell you what’s in the speech – I’ve seen it – but maybe he’ll ask Democrats, in view of the new news, why do you object to the Pain-Capable bill that non-partisan scientists say a baby can feel pain after the twentieth week,’ Conway said.
Conway said that Trump would be highlighting bipartisan efforts like criminal justice reform and praising the economic gains the nation has seen under his presidency.
But she indicated that he’d also tackle the controversial issue of late-term abortion.
‘Now we’ve got, we’ve got governors, and state legislators in many places, but most illustratively, and recently, in New York in Virginia, saying that a baby can have his or her life snuffed out of it, out of him or her… after 20 weeks. I mean this is who we are as Americans?’ she asked.
Trump said Thursday that a theme of his State of the Union address will be ‘unity’ — and he will praise Republicans for sticking by him over the course of his last year in office.
‘I think it’s unification, I think it’s industry, I think it’s about the people that you see right here,’ he told reporters from the Oval Office.
Trump quickly pivoted to an attack on Democrats for refusing his pleas for a border wall and then back to the topic of unity in the next sentence as he gave reporters their first look at the Tuesday speech.
‘The problem is the Democrats, you know when they say, we don’t want to build, as an example, we don’t want to build a wall, because it doesn’t work or because it’s immoral,’ he charged.
Bringing up House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that a wall is ‘immoral,’ he said that allowing Americans to die at the hand of violent immigrants is also unacceptable.
‘Well it’s also immoral, the people that come into our country that shouldn’t be here and kill people. That’s immoral, too. That’s a lot more immoral,’ he claimed with no build-up.
He added, as he got back on topic: ‘But I really think it’s going to be a speech that is going to cover a lot of territory but part of it is going to be unity.’
Asked by DailyMail.com about the assault on the opposing party, seconds after he said he wanted to spark unity, Conway said Friday, ‘Well the president, of course, is going to be a unifying figure. He is the leader of the country.
‘And he is certainly the leader of the country at the State of the Union. It’s his opportunity once a year to look the American people in the eye, cut out the middle man – respectfully, until the panels talk afterwards – to convey to them, many things they don’t hear throughout the year.’
She mentioned the January jobs report that dropped earlier on Friday. Companies created more jobs the first month of the year than forecasters expected.
‘The record of accomplishment, the facts and figures of his great economy, today with 304,000 new jobs created, well above the line of 70,000 that were projected. So, he will say things like that, showing the economy’s strong,’ she said.
As part of his bid to spark ‘unity’ she said he will talk about criminal justice reform, prescription drug legislation and other issues on which ‘Republicans and Democrats have proven they can come together and work toward a common purpose of serving the American people.’
‘He believes border security is a non-partisan issue that should have bipartisan solutions,’ she added. ‘And I don’t think that the speaker of the House, respectfully, sounds very unifying, most days she sounds like a cable news pundit … She doesn’t sound like a unifying figure.’
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks to a crowd during a Women’s Rights rally at the Capitol in Richmond earlier this month (left); Virginia Del. Kathy Tran presents HB2491, her bill dealing with eliminating some requirements for abortion inside the State Capitol in Richmond this week (right)
Conway said that Nancy Pelosi, who represents liberal San Francisco in Congress should broaden her own message and ‘get a little bit better control of her temper and her chamber.’
‘And those who don’t show up for the State of the Union, that’s on them, not on the president. They need to explain to their constituents why they thought so little of the people they represent that they refused to sit in the hallowed chamber in the Capitol and listen to our president come forward and try to call for bipartisan action on any number of measures. That’s on them,that’s not on him.’
No Democrats have said so far that they are boycotting the speech, but many refused to sit in the chamber and listen to Trump in 2018 – some over comments he made about immigrants from ‘s***hole nations’ seeking refuge in America.
The president and Democrats are still clashing over the issue that looms large ahead of a Feb. 15 deadline to fund the Department of Homeland Security and other major agencies.
They’re also butting heads on Trump’s foreign policy. The Senate moved forward with legislation to rebuke his Middle East policy moves this week. They want a review of his troop withdrawal in Syria and an assessment of a possible pullout in Afghanistan.
Conway said national security and foreign policy would be major pillars of Trump’s address on Tuesday, as well.
‘The president spends a good part of everyday thinking about the nation’s intelligence, security, foreign policy certainly, “endless wars” as he calls them in places like Syria and Afghanistan, where he thinks that we have spent enormous treasure, most of all, our young men and women who have perished there. And of course he will be addressing that in the State of the Union, as well as domestic issues,’ she added.
Democrats have selected former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams to give their response to Trump.
He said he hopes she does a good job and has ‘respect’ for her on Thursday, despite referring to her as ‘not qualified’ to hold office last year as he tried to bring her down.
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address next Tuesday
Abrams said she was ‘delighted’ to have been chosen
‘I respect her. I don’t know her. I haven’t met her, but I hope she does a good job,’ Trump said of the Democratic politician.
He mentioned that he doesn’t the Georgian who he worked to to keep out of office on a personal level.
‘I campaigned against Stacey Abrams, I know that President Obama campaigned for her. Michelle Obama campaigned for her, and Oprah campaigned for her, and all Brian [Kemp] had was me, and he won fairly easily, you know fairly easily. So, I hope that she does a good job.’
Abrams garnered national attention in her bid to become the first female, African American governor of Georgia in a contest that went down to the wire.
Democratic star power flooded the state to support her, including Oprah Winfrey and former President Barack Obama. Abrams lost to Kemp by 1 percent of the vote.
She is the first African-American woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union, a speech that has traditionally served as a springboard for higher office.
Trump delivered his State of the Union address on January 30, 2018, speaking to a packed House chamber where every seat was filled and the galleries were at capacity
President Trump will speak first on Feb. 5