Trump Signals Wall Or Nothing Approach To Shutdown Negotiations

President Donald Trump probably won't be satisfied with any deal Capitol Hill negotiators come up with he admitted Thursday, even in the long-shot event lawmakers agree on a solution to defuse the immigration standoff that shut down the government.

Trump said he will likely go ahead and use his executive power to build his border wall anyway, in comments that could badly undercut compromise talks between lawmakers.

Trump called the consultations between Democrats and Republicans from the House and the Senate "a waste of time," in an interview with The New York Times published Thursday night.

"I've set the table. I've set the stage for doing what I'm going to do," Trump said, without specifically confirming that he plans to declare a national emergency and reprogram money already offered by Congress for other purposes.

Such a step, or some other executive action, would set off a constitutional showdown and a certain legal challenge over whether the President would be claiming power he does not have to usurp Congress's prerogative to appropriate funds.

Trump's warning came amid few signs of progress from the Capitol Hill talks and after he lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing her of "playing games" because of her refusal to fund a wall he always said Mexico would pay for.

"It's not an issue for him in 2020 so long as the base of the Republican Party believes he's committed to border security," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican political strategist.

"You have to understand on this issue, regardless of how hyper-partisan and far apart the parties are, the bottom line is that they believe he is the last best hope to get illegal immigration under control," said O'Connell, who is also an adjunct professor at the George Washington Graduate School of Political Management.

This equation is the reason that the best political solution for the President may be to go ahead with a declaration of national emergency or some other executive action to reposition government money to build the wall.

"The national emergency solves a problem with respect to his base all being in lock step," said O'Connell.

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