Trump says wall can be a steel fence

US Vice President Mike Pence, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen leave the Eisenhower Executive Office Building after a meeting with staff from the House and Senate (AFP
Trump could compromise over concrete wall on Mexico border, says top aide
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08 January, 2019

Donald Trump, unmoved in his demand for $5.6bn to fund a wall on the border with Mexico, tweeted that Sunday's meeting had been "productive". The legality of such a move is unclear, however, and the president would nearly certainly face immediate legal challenges in the courts.

"We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly", possibly using the Army Corps of Engineers, he added.

But House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Trump's words were just "threatening talk" with no power behind them.

But the Democrats have made clear they see a wall as immoral and ineffective and prefer other types of border security funded at already agreed-upon levels.

Conservatives including LevinTV host Mark Levin, Conservative Review senior editor Daniel Horowitz, and pundit Ann Coulter have called on President Trump to deliver a national address on border security.

And with Trump's threat that he might declare a national emergency in order to grab military funding to build the wall, Democrats have even less incentive to negotiate with him.

President Trump verified the lack of progress with a tweet on Saturday, saying there wasn't "much headway made today".

He said he was making the offer to Democrats because 'they don't like concrete so we'll give them steel'.

The White House did not provide details of Mr Trump's trip, but the planned visit will likely highlight security concerns pushed by the administration as justification for building a wall along the United States border with Mexico.

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Sanders says Trump is "not going to stop" until he figures out the best way to protect USA citizens and that "whatever action he takes will certainly be lawful".

"The barrier, or the wall, can be of steel instead of concrete, if that helps people". Some advisers close to the president are reportedly pushing him to do so if negotiations on the Hill drag on, a move that would put the Defense Department in charge of building the wall. Later on CNN, however, Smith said that declaring an emergency would be "horrible policy" and a "terrible idea", and that the president would be challenged in court if he sought to build the wall without congressional authorization.

White House officials and congressional aides are returning to discussions Sunday to find a way to reopen the government after emerging from the first round of weekend talks without a breakthrough. And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., suggested Sunday that pressure would only mount amid the shutdown, which he said is disrupting Transportation Security Administration operations, home loans and farmers in his state.

"They don't like concrete, so we'll give them steel", Trump told reporters over the weekend.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a priority would be to reopen the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, "an action necessary to make sure working families received their tax refunds on schedule".

He said, "Many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I'm doing", although there has been no survey of government workers' views on Trump's wall proposal.

Top Republicans are applauding the move. "And it's been that way for decades, and we can't have it anymore", Trump said.

"Senate Democrats should block consideration of any bills unrelated to opening the government until Sen".

Trump's allies say he is simply keeping a longstanding campaign promise and they frame his focus on his base as a smart strategy, since he will need to energize those supporters for his re-election campaign.


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