Sen. Graham Predicts GOP 'War' if Trump Tries to 'Go It Alone' on Border Wall
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Monday that he is “not very optimistic” that Democrats and Republicans will strike a deal over border wall funding. He warned that there could be a “war” among Republicans if President Trump decides to take matters into his own hands.
Trump has given up on trying to convince Democrats to support wall funding, calling it a "waste of time." Since his negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer failed last month, Trump has strongly hinted that he will declare a national emergency to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall. He gave Congress until February 15 to come up with an agreement before partial government funding runs out.
Senator Graham seems to agree.
“I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get money for the wall, the barrier, whatever you want to call it,” Graham told reporters before speaking to the First Monday GOP Club in Greenville, South Carolina.
The senator argued that Republicans should unite behind the president if he ends up declaring a national emergency.
"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 warned.
He said Speaker Pelosi's offer of one dollar for the wall seemed "pretty unreasonable" because "we need barriers in certain locations and it was the centerpiece of the president's campaign for president."
Graham added that he would "stand with" Trump if he decides to "go it alone" to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall and urged his Republican colleagues to "get behind the president" too.
He noted that 3,700 troops are headed to the border to deal with the arrival of another wave of Central American migrants this week, arguing that the president is well within his rights to secure the border by building a wall.
"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.
Senator Marco Rubio recently slammed Trump's threat to declare a national emergency, calling it a "terrible idea."
"I hope he doesn't do it. I don't think it's leverage," Rubio said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
According to The Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned the president that a resolution blocking his emergency declaration could pass, forcing the president to issue his first veto.