Military

Lindsey Graham: Trump should use military to build wall

Sen. Lindsey Graham urged President Trump on Thursday to tap his emergency powers to have the military build the border wall, saying he’s fed up with Democrats’ refusal to negotiate.

He particularly blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying her refusal at the White House this week to even entertain the idea of border fencing has shown how futile it is to continue negotiating.

“It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier,” Mr. Graham said in a statement. “I hope it works.”

Mr. Trump earlier in the day said he still hopes for a deal from Congress to end the government shutdown and approve some money for his border wall, but if that doesn’t happen he will almost certainly use emergency powers.

Under the law, the president can task the military with construction if he declares a crisis and particularly if he says the wall is critical for interdicting drugs.

Democrats have said the president will struggle to make that case, but Mr. Trump said his lawyers have told him he’s in the clear.

Mr. Graham has been a key figure in the debate, having long been a proponent of a more lenient approach to illegal immigrants than most Republicans in Congress.

This week he had been trying to strike a deal combining money for the border wall with legal status for perhaps millions of illegal immigrants, including “Dreamers.”

Those talks fell through earlier Thursday.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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