White House Prepares National Emergency Plan, Tests How It Would Play

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listens at left as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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January 31, 2019 7:48 a.m.

As a bipartisan coalition tries to broker a funding compromise, the White House is moving behind the scenes to firm up a national emergency plan, figure out its legal ramifications and float test balloons in far-right outlets to see how it would play.

According to a Wednesday Politico report, President Donald Trump has been meeting with Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House lawyers to iron out a plan. They have been leaking talking points to places like Breitbart.

A current sticking point is the use of the Army Corps of Engineers, which Trump wants to build the wall. As the Corps is usually used for disaster preparedness and cleanup, the administration worries that using those funds for a border wall would spark legal and political pushback.

Per Politico, Trump has been wedded to the idea of declaring a national emergency to deal with immigration since Stephen Miller whispered it in his ear. Miller likes the idea of a unilateral way to deal with his pet issue and circumvent the divisions in Congress.

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