Donald Trump threatens emergency powers to pay for wall

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Sen. Marco Rubio: National Emergency Move Could Hurt GOP

CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who has had several high-profile spats with Trump, tweeted a video alongside a steel-slated border fence and said he didn't "see anything resembling a national emergency", which the White House promptly mocked.

He added the president has to keep his campaign promise he would build a wall along the nation's southern border, but declaring the situation a national emergency would set up a risky precedent.

A congressional official said the White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to look for billions of dollars earmarked past year for disaster response for Puerto Rico and other areas that could be diverted to a border wall as part of the emergency declaration.

United States President Donald Trump warned of murderers and gangsters spreading across the country during a visit to the US-Mexican border Thursday to push his demand for a multi-billion dollar wall.

President Trump on the partial government shutdown and efforts to reach a compromise on border wall funding. "If you look, Democrats, in Congress, especially the new ones coming in, are starting to say, 'Wait a minute, we can't win this battle with Trump, because of the fact that it's just common sense".

Trump said his lawyers had told him he had the power to invoke national emergency powers to get his wall funded.

Even so, Trump struck a defiant tone during his visit to the border town of McAllen, Texas, on Thursday.

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The standoff has left a quarter of the federal government closed down and hundreds of thousands of federal employees without pay.

Talks with Democrats stalled Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the President she would not support building a barrier structure on the US-Mexico border.

"If this doesn't work out, I probably will do it, I would nearly say definitely", Mr. Trump told reporters, adding later, "If we don't make a deal, I would say 100 percent but I don't want to say 100 percent".

Three weeks into the crisis, Most Americans appear to be blaming Trump for the shutdown - further isolating the president with only his ardent supporters in favor of the White House strategy. President Trump insisted on Twitter. On Wednesday, eight House Republicans publicly bucked the president and joined with Democrats in voting for bills that would reopen the government without financing the wall. "It probably will be, other than maybe they even hold that up because they want to have - you know, they want to do as much harm as they can, only because of the 2020 presidential election", he said.

The partial shutdown would set a record early Saturday, stretching beyond the 21-day closure that ended Jan 6, 1996, during President Bill Clinton's administration.

Trump says undocumented immigrants and illegal drugs are streaming across the border, despite statistics that show illegal immigration there is at a 20-year low and that many drug shipments likely are smuggled through legal ports of entry.

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