“I don’t think we’ll have to do that,” the president said. “I really believe the Democrats and the Republicans are working together.”
Mr. Trump, who will visit the southern border Thursday, has been considering a declaration of a national emergency. The move would allow him to build a wall unilaterally with the military, but it would face certain court challenges.
“We’re doing very well except for the border,” Mr. Trump said, calling border security a “big problem” and a “dangerous problem.”
“We have to take care of the border,” he said.
Mr. Trump is visiting Republican lawmakers at the Capitol Wednesday to discuss the 19-day-old partial shutdown, then is hosting Democratic leaders at the White House for talks.
The president said he has the “absolute right” to declare an emergency.
“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t we might go that route,” he said, adding that the “threshold” for declaring one is if he can’t reach a deal with Democrats.
“We can all play games, but a wall is a necessity,” Mr. Trump said. “If you don’t have the wall, it doesn’t matter. A drone isn’t stopping a thousand people running through.”
He said of the dispute, “We gotta get the politics out of this and go back to common sense. They say it [a wall] is a medieval solution. It’s true. It’s medieval because it worked then” and it works now.
The president said the shutdown “is not a fight I wanted.”
He said furloughed federal workers “are terrific patriots.”
“A lot of them agree with what I’m doing,” he said. “They’re all going to get their money, and I think they’re going to be happy. … You take a look at social media, so many of those people are saying, ‘It’s very hard for me, it’s very hard for my family, but Mr. President, you’re doing the right thing.’ “
“The people out there want something to happen at our southern border,” he said.
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