Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned on Monday that there could be a “war” among Republicans if President Trump declared a national emergency to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Graham, speaking in South Carolina, acknowledged that the idea divides Republicans, who he argued should unite behind the president if he ends up circumventing Congress to build the wall.
"It seems to me that he's gonna have to go it alone, but there could be a war within the Republican Party over the wall," Graham said.
Graham added that he would "stand with" Trump if he declares a national emergency to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall and urged his Republican colleagues to "get behind the president" if he goes down that path.
"To any Republican who denies the president the ability to act as commander in chief, you're going to create a real problem within the party," Graham said.
In my view, the DACA Executive Order issued by President Obama was unconstitutional and President-elect Trump would be right to repeal it.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 9, 2016
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cautioned President Trump privately this week about the consequences of declaring a national emergency to build his border wall, telling him the move could trigger political blowback and divide the GOP, according to two Republicans with knowledge of the exchange.
McConnell (R-Ky.) told Trump that Congress might end up passing a resolution disapproving the emergency declaration, the people said — which would force the president to contemplate issuing his first veto ever, in the face of opposition from his own party.
McConnell delivered the message during a face-to-face meeting with the president Tuesday at the White House, according to the Republicans, who requested anonymity to describe the encounter. The two men met alone and conversed with no aides present. Their meeting was not publicly announced.
The majority leader’s comments to the president came amid rising GOP concerns over the fallout if Trump were to declare a national emergency that would allow him to circumvent Congress and use the military to build new stretches of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump increasingly appears prepared to take that route, saying Friday that “I think there’s a good chance we’ll have to do that.”
Trump teased the possibility of making a definitive statement on the topic during his State of the Union address, telling reporters to watch the Tuesday speech closely. “I think you’ll find it very exciting,” the president said.