WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump suggested Friday he may declare a national emergency as soon as Tuesday to build a border wall.
That’s when he’ll deliver his State of the Union address.
Trump told reporters there was a “good chance” he would use executive authority to build a border wall.
He added, “I don’t want to say it, but you’ll hear the State of the Union and then you’ll see what happens right after the State of the Union.”
When asked again about the possibility of declaring a national emergency, he said:
“… Well, … certainly thinking about it. I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have to do that, but we’ll at the same time — be building, regardless, we’re building wall. And we’re building a lot of wall, but i could do it a lot faster the other way.”
Trump added: “Well, I’m saying listen closely to the State of the Union. I think you’ll find it very exciting.”
If Trump does declare a national emergency during his speech, that would go against what he said Thursday.
That’s when he assured reporters he would not do anything until Feb. 15.
A group in Congress has until then to negotiate a deal on border security.
Some Republican lawmakers have signaled they would object to a national emergency declaration.
It would also likely be challenged in court.
In addition, Trump will use his address to Congress on Tuesday to talk about progress in fighting Islamic State militants.
He’s expected to boast of opening trade talks with China and nuclear talks with North Korea, and he’s likely to take credit for his administration’s hard-line stance against Iran and make the case for ending or reducing U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
His State of the Union speech will be dissected for clues on how he’ll deal with a full plate of foreign policy challenges. His words will be fodder for the ongoing partisan debate about whether Trump’s decisions will have passing or long-lasting effects on the world.