Trump Said There’s a ‘Good Chance’ He’ll Declare a National Emergency to Fund His Border Wall

February 1, 2019, 8:24 PM UTC

President Donald Trump said Friday that there is a “good chance” he’ll declare a national emergency to secure funding for a border security wall, and that more details will come during his State of the Union address next week.

Democrats have said they will not approve the $5.7 billion Trump wants for a border wall, and could sue if he declares a national emergency, Bloomberg reports. Trump, however, said he has “very strong legal standing.”

“We are doing it regardless,” he said Friday, Politico reports. He then clarified: “We haven’t declared a national emergency yet…. I don’t want to say.”

Trump advised reporters to tune into his State of the Union address on Feb. 5.

Trump has long threatened to declare a national emergency, which would give him executive power to reallocate disaster relief funds to the U.S.-Mexico border for wall construction. The unconventional method would allow Trump to proceed with a wall without congressional approval.

During the recent 35-day government shutdown over wall funding, hundreds of thousands of government workers missed two paychecks. Trump eventually agreed to temporarily reopen the government without the funds, but Congress will likely need to come to a resolution on border security by Feb. 15 to avoid a second shutdown—unless more temporary funding is approved.

During his Friday address at the White House—meant to discuss human trafficking at the southern border—Trump called the congressional conference committee debating border security a “waste of time” and repeated a false claim that construction on the wall had already begun without congressional funds.