WASHINGTON — A Trump aide told White House surrogates Friday morning that President Donald Trump would "absolutely veto" any congressional efforts to interfere with his plan to declare a national emergency to secure funding for his border wall, according to a person on the call.
The call with supporters came shortly before the president's planned announcement of the move Friday morning.
The officials, who included senior aide Stephen Miller and OMB deputy director Russ Vought — who said the president would veto any Hill efforts to block the plan — told surrogates the decision to focus the new wall construction in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas was part of an effort to deny California standing to sue. Areas along the southern border with "vehicle barrier" will also see immediate construction, the officials said.
Officials argued that it's faster to build on land already owned by the government, but that eminent domain will be used aggressively.
The officials confirmed that the president plans to announce $8 billion for a border wall using the emergency declaration. That figure includes $1.375 billion in the spending bill for fencing in Texas; $600 million from the Treasury Department's drug forfeiture fund; $2.5 billion from a Defense Department drug interdiction program; and $3.5 billion from a military construction budget under an emergency declaration by the president.
Trump is expected to formally announce the move at 10 a.m. in the Rose Garden.