>> President Trump made his case for a wall Thursday at ground zero of the debate.>> This is common sense. They need a barrier. They need a wall. If you don't have it it's gonna be nothing but hard work and grueling problems. And by the way, and death.
>> Trump toured the border town of McAllen, Texas. As tensions over funding his desired wall have led to a partial government shutdown that is on the brink of becoming the longest ever. Appearing in multiple stops with border agents and local law enforcement and politicians. Trump said undocumented immigrants and illegal drugs are streaming across the border from Mexico despite statistics that show illegal immigration there is at a 20 year low.
And that many drug ship ins are likely smuggled through legal ports of entry. Democrats have called the wall, a project estimated to cost about $23 billion ineffective and medieval.>> They say a wall is medieval, well, so is a wheel, a wheel is older than a wall.>>
>> There are some things that work. You know what? A wheel works and a wall works.>> Earlier on Thursday, Trump again threatened to use emergency powers to bypass Congress to get money to build the wall. And according to the Washington Post, the president is already laying the groundwork to do this.
A similar NBC report said the move would allow Trump to tap into a nearly $14 billion Army Corps fund, set aside for disaster relief in places like Texas and Puerto Rico. News that was met with dismay by Puerto Rico. Congressman Jennifer Gonzalez said the humanitarian crisis on the southern border of the United States can't be resolved by taking money that was approved for disaster mitigation in Puerto Rico.
A White House official denied the president had been briefed on the plan but such a strategy could escalate the stand off between Trump and Democrats in Congress and trigger a legal challenge. Making Mexico pay for a border wall was one of Trump's big campaign promises. Although now, he says he meant that figuratively.