Trump not expected to declare border national emergency in speech

Donald Trump is not expected to declare a national emergency during his...

Posted: Jan 9, 2019 4:01 AM
Updated: Jan 9, 2019 4:01 AM

Donald Trump is not expected to declare a national emergency during his prime-time address on Tuesday, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN, a possibility the President has floated in recent days.

Instead, Trump is expected to focus on making his case to the public that the situation on the southern border is a crisis and argue that the wall is a necessary remedy. Two sources said Trump is still focused on winning the public relations battle, believing he can turn up the heat on Democrats by convincing more of the country that a wall is necessary.

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Trump was still working closely with top aides, including his chief speechwriter and policy adviser Stephen Miller, into the afternoon to fine tune his speech, one person familiar with Trump's thinking said, and he has been known to make last-minute changes.

Advisers have warned Trump about the legal battle the administration will surely face if he does declare a national emergency to fulfill his signature campaign promise amid a clash with Democrats over funding the wall.

But even as Trump is not expected to declare a national emergency on Tuesday night, he has not shut the door on invoking that authority if the stalemate with Democrats persists, officials said, and could still do so in the coming days. There has been no progress in shutdown negotiations between the White House and Democrats, who have so far refused Trump's demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding.

Trump's Tuesday evening address comes on the heels of an all-out blitz among top Trump officials to get their immigration message out. In the lead-up to the speech, aides repeatedly sought to make the case that there is a "crisis" on the southern border -- frequently drawing on misleading statistics -- ramping up speculation that Trump was preparing to declare a national emergency. But the rhetoric was also aimed at turning up the heat on Democrats, who have refused to agree to Trump's border wall demands.

According to several people, Trump has been frustrated that his allies haven't made an effective enough argument for his wall, so he wanted to make an address to the nation himself.

Officials have flooded the airwaves ahead of Trump's address Tuesday and the White House invited anchors from the television networks to an off-the-record lunch with Trump. These lunches typically happen before the President's annual address to Congress.

Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that the White House counsel is looking at the President's ability to declare a national emergency to fund border security. Asked to explain how thoroughly the White House counsel's office has reviewed the possibility of an emergency declaration, Pence said it is something they have examined, but the administration would prefer to solve the problem of border security funding through Congress.

"What I'm aware of is they're looking at it, and the President is considering it," Pence told reporters during an hour-long briefing alongside Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Office of Management and Budget acting director Russell Vought.

By declaring a national emergency, Trump could unlock certain funds provided under statutes previously passed by Congress, such as those earmarked for natural disasters. If the President makes the declaration, he would have access to a pool of money inside the Defense Department. Under US Code, Trump could use funds "that have not been obligated" within the department's budget.

The law states that in the event of a declaration of war or national emergency, "the Secretary of Defense, without regard to any other provision of law, may undertake military construction projects, and may authorize the Secretaries of the military departments to undertake military construction projects, not otherwise authorized by law that are necessary to support such use of the armed forces."

A US official previously told CNN that Trump could use other funds but would have to cancel existing military construction projects, which might come with costly termination fees.

If Trump decides to pull from Defense Department funds, troops could be tasked with building parts of the wall.

As the partial government shutdown has stretched on, the White House has tried to frame the debate as a matter of national security.

Last week, Trump met twice with congressional leaders in the Situation Room regarding the issue. The President is planning a visit to the border amid the government shutdown later this week. And on Tuesday evening, Trump will deliver an address from the Oval Office to the American public about the US-Mexico border.

Following Trump's immigration address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are slated to offer their rebuttal.

CNN's Boris Sanchez, Jim Acosta, Betsy Klein, Priscilla Alvarez and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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Columbus
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We will see the rainfall move out of our area overnight as a cold front moves through our area. We will see high pressure move into our area for a few days as we to through our Tuesday and Wednesday. However, more rainfalll in the forecast later in the week.
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