President Trump is headed to Texas Thursday for a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border as he holds the line against Democrats on security. He will visit a U.S. Border Patrol station in McAllen and then head to the Rio Grande. He will participate in briefings at both locations.
“The only way you have a strong border is you have a wall or steel barrier," Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departure. “The wall that we’re doing is very, very hard to penetrate.”
"I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency. The lawyers have so advised me. I'm not prepared not to do that yet, but if I have to, I will. I have no doubt about it. I will," he said. "Other presidents have used this, some fairly often. I have the absolute right to declare an emergency. I haven't done it yet. I may do it if this doesn't work out. I probably will do it. I would almost say definitely."
"This is a national emergency," Trump continued. "I would like to do the deal through Congress because it makes sense to do it through Congress. The easy route for me would have been to declare a national emergency to do it. I will tell you, this is a tremendous crisis at the border."
Getting ready to leave for the Great State of Texas! #MAGA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2019
Yesterday President Trump made a visit to Capitol Hill for a meeting with Senate Republicans.
"We don't give up because we're doing the right thing," Trump said after the meeting.
He also held a meeting at the White House with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, which ended when the duo refused to negotiate over a border barrier. Schumer told reporters Trump slammed his hand on the table. The President says this is a lie.
“I didn’t pound the table. I didn’t pound the table. That is a lie," Trump said. “All of that narrative is a lie.”
"I'm okay to compromise. We're either going to have a compromise which is a win for everyone or I'm going to have to declare a national emergency," he continued.
Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
Cryin Chuck told his favorite lie when he used his standard sound bite that I “slammed the table & walked out of the room. He had a temper tantrum.” Because I knew he would say that, and after Nancy said no to proper Border Security, I politely said bye-bye and left, no slamming!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2019
This post has been updated with additional and fuller quotes from the President.