The protests came as President Trump traveled to McAllen, Texas, along the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday to repeat his demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a border wall. In what would be an unprecedented move, Trump is considering declaring a national emergency in a bid to circumvent Congress, and he has ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to look into raiding funds from a $13.9 billion disaster relief bill meant to help Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California recover from deadly hurricanes and wildfires. After a photo-op at the border, Trump granted an interview to Fox News host Sean Hannity, who was reportedly given special access to the president by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine—a former Fox News executive.
Sean Hannity: “Now, you said earlier today that it’s likely, that you’re very likely going to declare a national emergency. How soon would that happen?”
President Donald Trump: “No, if we don’t make a deal with Congress, most likely I will do that. I would actually say I would. I can’t imagine any reason why not, because I’m allowed to do it. The law is 100 percent on my side.”
In fact, many legal scholars and lawmakers say such a move would violate federal law and could set a dangerous precedent. Carol Rose of the American Civil Liberties Union said, “He can try, but he’s going to be challenged in court by the ACLU and by about a million other groups.”