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Trump Threatens To Declare National Emergency If Democrats Don’t Fund Border Wall In 3 Weeks
President Donald Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency to build barriers along the southwestern border if Congress does not approve funding to build a border wall by Feb. 15.
The president announced on Friday that he had reached with lawmakers to re-open the government for three weeks. But Trump was not able to secure any funding for a border wall in the temporary spending measure, according to media reports.
"Let me be very clear: We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier," Trump said in a speech. "If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15 again or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security."
Shortly afterward, the president was more overt about his intentions to declare a national emergency should the Democrats not agree to nearly $6 billion in border wall funding.
"We'll work with the Democrats and negotiate and if we can't do that, then we'll do a – obviously we'll do the emergency because that's what it is. It's a national emergency," Trump said, according to a White House pool report.
With the exception of the Defense Department, the federal government has been shut down for the past 35 days over Trump's demand for border wall funding. Coast Guardsmen, FBI agents, border patrol personnel, air traffic controllers, TSA agents, and other essential personnel have been working without pay since then.
Several media outlets had reported during the past six weeks that Trump was considering declaring a national emergency that would allow him to use military construction funds to build part of the wall. On Friday, the president suggested that he had not to go that route for now.
"As everyone knows, I have a very powerful alternative, but I didn't want to use it at this time," Trump said. "Hopefully, it will be unnecessary."
WATCH NEXT: The Coast Guard Has Better Snipers Than The Freakin' Marine Corps
Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is warning that it's "absolutely a given" that ISIS will come back if the U.S. doesn't keep up pressure on the group, just one week after President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria.
"It's in a situation of disarray right now. Obviously the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks, and we'll have to see if they're able to maintain the fight against ISIS," Mattis said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," set to air on Sunday. "It's going to have an impact. The question is how much?"