Los Angeles Times

Trump vows he will 'probably' declare national emergency if Congress doesn't OK wall money

McALLEN, Texas - President Donald Trump moved closer Thursday to declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress to secure funds for a border wall and resolve a government shutdown now into its 20th day.

"I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency," Trump said to reporters before departing the White House for McAllen, Texas, where he toured Border Patrol facilities and met with agents along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"If this doesn't work," he said of getting Congress to include wall money in its final government-funding bill, "probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely. This is a national emergency."

Administration officials say that move could allow the president to tap money already approved by Congress for other purposes, including funds for military construction and disaster relief.

Insisting that he would prefer that Congress approve

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