Trump holds immigration roundtable at border patrol station

Mitch McConnell

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Mr. Trump said he thinks a steel barrier or wall would pay for itself every three or four months, and insisted that Mexico is paying for the wall "indirectly". He will also receive a briefing on border security at the Rio Grande before returning to Washington later in the evening. "They have women tied up, they have tape over their mouths, electrical tape".

"The president's not going to back down", he added.

He added the president has to keep his campaign promise he would build a wall along the nation's southern border, but declaring the situation a national emergency would set up a unsafe precedent. He always said Mexico would pay through trade deals, Mr. Trump insisted. However, widely respected studies show that illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes than people born in the United States. Additionally, some 800,000 federal workers will start missing paychecks this week.

Signalling he's ready to maintain the game of brinksmanship, Trump tweeted on arrival in Texas that he will scrap a visit to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which runs from January 21-25.

President Donald Trump plans to visit a border patrol station and a section of the border during his visit Thursday to McAllen, Texas.

Further, a national emergency declaration would probably bring legal hurdles, as it could allow Trump the ability to use the military to build a wall instead of getting Congressional approval for its funding. Declaring a national emergency, the president explained, frees up a "tremendous" amount of funds.

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But pressed on a timeline for doing so, he said he would "see what happens" over the coming days.

"When I say Mexico's going to pay for the wall that's what i said, Mexico's going to pay".

However, it would still give Trump political cover with his base by showing he'd done what he could.

Trump, who revels in telling stories about his negotiating skills as a NY real estate magnate, has not managed to get the Democrats to budge on his demand for the $5.7 billion.

On Wednesday, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with Trump, but the meeting ended quickly after Trump walked out because the Democratic leaders did not compromise on funding for the border wall. "He had a temper tantrum.' Because I knew he would say that, and after Nancy said no to proper Border Security, I politely said bye-bye and left, no slamming!"

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