Donald Trump has reiterated his threat to declare a national emergency if Congress does not meet his demand for billions of dollars to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border as part of a deal to end the partial government shutdown.
The president visited the Texas border on Thursday – the 20th day of a partial government shutdown – in a publicity ploy to help make the case for funding his long-promised wall after negotiations with Democrats broke down.
As he left the White House for McAllen, Texas, Trump told reporters he would prefer to work with Congress on a deal to end the shutdown, which was triggered by his insistence on funds for the wall, but he warned that he would use his emergency powers to circumvent Congress if they could not come to an agreement.
“I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency,” Trump said, contradicting legal scholars who have questioned the president’s right to take such action in this case.
Meanwhile the President cancelled a planned trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this month.
He cited border security as the reason only hours after attributing a possible cancellation to the government shutdown.
“Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip,” Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday. “My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!”
The Guardian / Euronews