Mick Mulvaney says Donald Trump will secure border ‘with or without Congress’

January 27, 2019 GMT

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday said President Trump will ultimately secure the border and work to defend the nation with or without cooperation from Congress.

“At the end of the day, the president is going to secure the border one way or another,” Mr. Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“We have been hoping for months to do it through legislation with Democrats because that’s the right way for the government to function, but at the end of the day the president’s commitment is to defend the nation, and he’ll do it either with or without Congress,” he said.

The president said that if Congress doesn’t come up with a “fair” deal on homeland security funding in the next three weeks, he could invoke emergency powers to get his desired U.S.-Mexico border wall built, or try to orchestrate another partial shutdown.

Mr. Mulvaney said that “no one” wants a government shutdown.

“It’s not a desired end,” he said.

The president on Friday signed legislation to re-open the federal government through Feb. 15, after the House and Senate swiftly passed the stopgap funding measure earlier in the day.

That brought to a close the longest shutdown of the federal government in U.S. history. The partial shutdown spanned more than a month.

Mr. Trump signed the bill even though it doesn’t include new money for construction on his desired U.S.-Mexico border wall, which the White House repeatedly insisted be part of the deal.

That’s a win for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders, who said over the last month that they would not support additional funding for the wall and that they would not negotiate border security while the government remained closed.

“I think ultimately he’ll be judged by what happens at the end of this process, not by what happened this week,” Mr. Mulvaney said of the president.

Mr. Trump said over the weekend that 21 days “goes very quickly.”

“Negotiations with Democrats will start immediately,” he said on Twitter. “Will not be easy to make a deal, both parties very dug in. The case for National Security has been greatly enhanced by what has been happening at the Border through dialogue. We will build the Wall!”