Shortly after President Trump announced that he was reopening the government, he clarified that he was not doing so as a surrender to Democratic demands.
After Democrats voted down two measures to pay federal workers during the shutdown—Trump said he was reopening it to help federal workers receive pay.
Trump then doubled down on his commitment to constructing a border wall in a tweet which all but guaranteed there would be one by the end of the 21-day temporary funding extension.
Trump took to Twitter shortly after his Friday announcement to clarify that his opening of the government “was in no way a concession.”
“I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall,” the president said in a tweet. “This was in no way a concession. It was taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it’s off to the races!”
From the Washington Examiner:
After agreeing to reopen the government without Mexico border wall funds, President Trump said Friday that he will “obviously” declare a national emergency if there’s no deal to fund the project.
Trump used more definitive language on the prospect of a national emergency during an afternoon meeting with Hispanic pastors than he had during an earlier scripted Rose Garden address, in which he announced a temporary end to the 35-day spending fight.
“We’ll work with the Democrats and negotiate and if we can’t do that, then we’ll do a — obviously we’ll do the emergency because that’s what it is. It’s a national emergency,” Trump told reporters in the Roosevelt Room.
“So let me be very clear: We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” Trump said Friday afternoon, also via the Washington Examiner. “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws of the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security.”
Now, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is echoing Trump’s commitment to the border wall, per the report:
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney signaled Sunday that President Trump is prepared to declare a national emergency in order to obtain funding for a border wall.
A temporary spending deal was reached last week to reopen large swaths of the federal government that were shuttered for more than a month. The White House and Congress now have three weeks to come up with a long-term legislative solution, which Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” would be the “right way” to obtain funding to fulfill Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.
If Trump doesn’t secure the funds he seeks, “at the end of the day, the president’s commitment is to defend the nation and he’ll do it either with or without Congress,” Mulvaney told Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
In a tweet, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders similarly said Trump was dedicated to building the wall.
“In 21 days President @realDonaldTrump is moving forward building the wall with or without the Democrats. The only outstanding question is whether the Democrats want something or nothing,” Sanders said.
In 21 days President @realDonaldTrump is moving forward building the wall with or without the Democrats. The only outstanding question is whether the Democrats want something or nothing https://t.co/dMaDfBOIuT
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 26, 2019
The Western Journal added:
CNN reported last week that the idea of Trump declaring a national emergency option hadn’t been taken off the table — indeed, there was a draft version that would set aside $7 billion for the wall and put responsibility for building it in the hands of the Department of Defense.
“The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency,” a draft of the emergency proclamation states, according to CNN.