Mulvaney: Trump May Declare Border Wall Emergency Even If Congress Approves Funds

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February 10, 2019 11:47 a.m.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that President Donald Trump may still declare a national emergency in order to secure additional funds for a border wall even if Congress appropriates money for a wall.

Mulvaney also said “you absolutely cannot” rule out Trump shutting the government down again at the end of the week if he isn’t satisfied with what Congress approves.

“You cannot take a shutdown off the table, and you cannot take $5.7 [billion, Trump’s initial recent demand for border wall funds] off the table, but if you end up someplace in the middle, yeah, then what you’ll probably see is the President say, ‘Okay, and then I’ll go find the money someplace else,'” Mulvaney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

Host Chuck Todd pressed the chief of staff on the White House’s hunt for already-appropriated money in various executive agencies that could be diverted for wall construction.

“Do you find money without declaring a national emergency or do you need to declare the national emergency to use this other money?” Todd asked.

“The answer to the question is both,” Mulvaney began. “There are certain sums of money that are available to the President, to any president.”

But, he added later, while “there are pots of money all presidents have access to without a national emergency … there [are] ones that he will not have access to without that declaration.”

“What we’re trying to, what we’re looking at doing with President Trump is stuff that is entirely legal,” Mulvaney said.

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