Trump says he'll make 'major announcement' Saturday on shutdown

Although US President Donald Trump has hinted that he might declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and fund the wall if other options failed, he does not plan to so on Saturday.
Although US President Donald Trump has hinted that he might declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and fund the wall if other options failed, he does not plan to so on Saturday.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - President Donald Trump plans to renew his demand for a border wall but also offer incentives for congressional Democrats in an announcement Saturday (Jan 19) that will not include a declaration of a national emergency, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The person would not discuss what Trump plans to offer to the Democrats who now control the US House, beyond saying that it may have something to do with immigration.

The Democrats, who have adamantly refused his demands for US$5.7 billion for the wall, have called for protections for young immigrants who came to the US as children and other immigration reforms.

The dispute over the wall led to a partial government shutdown that enters its 29th day on Saturday.

Although Trump has hinted that he might declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and fund the wall if other options failed, he does not plan to so on Saturday, according to the person, who was granted anonymity to discuss the announcement beforehand,

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders declined to say what would be in the announcement, which Trump planned to make at 3pm in Washington. I'm not going to get ahead of the president," she said.

A Trump tweet late on Friday previewing a "major announcement" capped three days of dramatic twists in a clash between the president and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that has become increasingly personal.

 
 
 

Pelosi earlier in the day accused the Trump administration of leaking her plan to fly commercially to Afghanistan, forcing her to scuttle the trip because of the heightened danger, after word of her intentions began spreading among several media organisations.

Trump on Thursday publicly revealed plans for the trip in a letter denying use of military aircraft for her congressional delegation to visit troops in the war zone. A day earlier, Pelosi publicly suggested Trump either delay his State of the Union speech or submit it in writing, citing the shutdown.

"The fact that they would leak that we were flying commercial is a danger not only us but other people flying commercial," Pelosi told reporters Friday at the Capitol. "It was very irresponsible on the part of the president."

Sanders later denied the administration leaked the information about the commercial flight. Pelosi didn't answer a question about why she believes the administration was behind the leak.