"I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency," Trump told reporters outside the White House on his way to McAllen, Texas, adding that his lawyers advised him that he could. "If this doesn't work out...I would almost say definitely,"
The president's demands for $5.7 billion for a barrier along the southern border thrust the government into a partial government shutdown that is on the verge of becoming the longest in U.S. history. With Democrats refusing to give in to his demands, Trump has increasingly floated the idea that he may declare a national emergency to secure the wall funds and deliver on one of his earliest campaign promises.
Some critics and legal experts, however, has questioned whether Trump has the authority to use such a declaration to build his wall.
Trump's latest comments come a day after negotiations between Democratic leaders and the White House dramatically fell apart.