‘May declare a national emergency’ to build wall

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Consolidated/NewscomPresident Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested in recent days that he could declare a "national emergency" to get funding for his proposed wall on the U.S. -Mexico border.

The partial US government shutdown reached its 17th day Monday with President Donald Trump retaining his demand for money to build a border wall and House Democrats preparing votes on new bills aimed at opening shuttered agencies.

Trump brought up the idea of a national emergency during a press appearance on Friday at the White House Rose Garden, and again over the weekend, as he traveled to the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland.

The visit comes amid the continuing partial government shutdown and the President's insistence that any funding bill to reopen federal agencies include US$5.7 billion for his border wall.

It's unclear which of Trump's aides attended the meeting beyond Bill Shine, deputy chief of staff for communications. The New York Times first reported Trump's desire to address the nation.

During a meeting on Saturday with Vice President Pence, White House adviser Jared Kushner, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Mulvaney, Democrats pushed for details on how the president will spend the money he has requested. If they gave in on this one fight, he could use the tactic any other time and consider it the best way to get what he wants, even when he doesn't have the votes in Congress. "I think we're going to have some very serious talks come Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday", he said.

Trump repeated his claim that many furloughed federal workers "agree 100 percent" with his demands, while asserting he also had "tremendous support within the Republican Party". He said Trump had painted himself into a corner and needs to "figure out how he unpaints himself from that corner".

President Trump has made a number of misleading or inaccurate statements on subjects ranging from Russian interference, to farmers and trade, to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense. "We have to have border security".

The Pentagon last month said it has studied the issue and concluded it does have legal authority to build border fencing if it is deemed part of a counterdrug operation or part of a national emergency.

Later in the afternoon, Trump told reporters, "We're looking at a national emergency because we have a national emergency".

Numerous government agencies first ran out of funding on December 22, as Democrats vowed to block Trump's requested $5.7 billion to build the border wall and Trump insisted on the money.

Mr. Trump now says he'll accept "steel slats" instead of a "concrete" wall, although that change doesn't appear acceptable to Democrats.

"It'll be discussed", he said on NBC. Trump argues that a physical barrier along the US-Mexico border is essential to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the US.

The moves are meant to pressure Senate Republicans now sitting out the fight, as leader Mitch McConnell seeks to avoid political damage.

While the U.S. military and other major agencies are still fully funded, the impasse has left 800,000 government workers from other departments furloughed or working without pay.

Americans largely blame President Trump for the shutdown, thanks in part to awful media coverage, and thanks in part to President Trump's originally nationally televised statements that he would happily "own" the shutdown.

As the shutdown continues, more Americans are beginning to see its effects.