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Trump says ready to declare national emergency as he visits Mexico border

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump speaks in McAllen, Texas, on January 10, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump has reiterated the idea of announcing a national emergency to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Trump visited the border on Thursday, 20 days into a partial shutdown of the federal government over Democrats' refusal to give him $5.7 billion to begin constructing the controversial barrier.

Speaking to reporters in McAllen, southern Texas, Trump once again said he would use his emergency powers to fund the wall if he could not reach a deal in Congress.

"If this doesn’t work out, I’ll probably will do it, maybe definitely,” he said.

Earlier media reports said that Trump had been mulling the idea of declaring national emergency for a while.

Trump claims that the US is under threat along its southern border, insisting that the nation urgently needs the wall to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Analysts say the announcement would likely be challenged in court as a case of presidential overreach, in which case the wall still could face being blocked.

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

At that point, Trump could end the partial government shutdown and declare himself as the winner of the standoff with congressional Democrats.

On Wednesday, Trump invited Democratic leaders to the White House but walked out of the meeting once they rejected his request to fund the wall.

"A total waste of time," Trump tweeted after the meeting. "I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"

Trump cancels Davos trip

Later in the day, the American head of state said he had canceled his scheduled visit later this month to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to handle the ongoing shutdown of the government.

“Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum,” Trump tweeted.

Former US President Barack Obama would skip the gathering, as well. In his last year in office, Obama sent six of his cabinet secretaries and then-Vice President Joe Biden to Davos.

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