President Trump took questions from reporters in the Oval Office prior to his Congressional lunch meeting on Wednesday.
Q Mr. President, what’s your current thinking on a national emergency? Why didn’t you announce it last night? And when might you —
THE PRESIDENT: Because I think we might work a deal. And if we don’t, I may go that route. I have the absolute right to do national emergency if I want.
Q And what’s your threshold for when you might make that decision?
THE PRESIDENT: My threshold will be if I can’t make a deal with people that are unreasonable.
Q What’s your message to the Republicans who are now on Capitol Hill saying —
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I think we have tremendous Republican support. I tell you what: I just spoke to a few of the people in the House. We have tremendous support. The Senate has been incredible. Mitch McConnell has been incredible. He said, “If the President is not going to sign, then I’m not going to waste my time.” And, I mean, Rob Portman is here — he can tell you — he’s very strong on border security.
We have tremendous support in the Senate. We have tremendous support in the House. And, by the way — you know, they say, “Oh, is it true that somebody — you know, a congressman, he broke away?” Let me tell you — yeah, every once in a while, you’re going to have that. But you know who else has that? The Democrats have that too, because they have their people breaking away too. You know why? Because they know you need border security. But you don’t report that.
But the fact is that there is tremendous support. I would know — without support, I would be the first one to know. I may be the last one too. But there is tremendous support.
Right now, if I did something that was foolish, like gave up on border security, the first ones that would hit me are my senators. They’d be angry at me. The second ones would be the House. And the third ones would be, frankly, my base and a lot of Republicans out there, and a lot of Democrats that want to see border security.