"If this doesn't work out, I probably will do it, I would nearly say definitely", the president said of a national emergency declaration when he visited the border in Texas last month, adding, "If we don't make a deal, I would say 100 percent, but I don't want to say 100 percent". Now comes the mini-bombshell that the president plans to follow through with his national emergency - a ploy McConnell had advised him against doing.
Earlier in the wall fight with Congress, some of Trump's fellow Republicans had warned him that declaring a national emergency could set a risky precedent, opening the door for a future Democratic president to circumvent Congress and declare emergencies on perhaps climate change or healthcare insurance.
Fortunately, there is a legal mechanism in place, although technically it's never been done before. The president can, however, bypass Congress by declaring a national emergency, which allows the White House to redirect spending as it sees fit. The likelihood of that dropped even further when Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in the November elections.
Maybe it's a long shot, but at least it's something.
The full legislative text of the deal was released just after midnight Thursday, paving the way for both chambers to vote on the plan that funds 25% of the federal government, including the Department of Homeland Security, ahead of a Friday at midnight government funding deadline.
"This agreement denies funding for President Trump's border wall and includes several key measures to make our immigration system more humane", House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, a Democrat, said in a statement.
"The president is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country", she said.
His counterpart in Washington state, Bob Ferguson, said that if Trump's declaration depletes federal aid to the state, he'll "take appropriate steps to block this unlawful action".
"We'll be looking for landmines - because you could have that, you know", Trump said from the Oval Office.
On CNN, former Republican congressman Charlie Dent said, "You have to say the president lost". The House is scheduled to vote later in the evening.
Gordon Banks, England World Cup winning goalkeeper, dies at age 81
England captain and World Cup Golden Boot victor Harry Kane tweeted: 'Very sad to hear the news of Gordon Banks passing away. Tributes: "I have great sadness in my heart today and I send condolences to the family Gordon was so proud of".
Though the budget deal isn't flawless, it avoids another shutdown while making important investments in security for the borders and ports, he said.
Though he called the budget bill "far from ideal", Romney said he voted for it because it includes critical funding for border security and immigration enforcement, and prevents another government shutdown.
"He has to say here's an emergency and here's what I need", she told Al Jazeera.
The bill would give federal civilian workers a 1.9 per cent pay raise, overriding a pay freeze signed by Trump during the shutdown.
"It's important to note that when the president declares this emergency, first of all, it's not an emergency", Pelosi said.
The $330 billion package - which funds one-quarter of the government - includes $1.37 billion for 55 miles of border wall in Texas' Rio Grande Valley and additional money for security measures such as technology and law enforcement. "It's a humanitarian challenge to us", Pelosi said, adding, "If the president can declare an emergency on something that he has created as an emergency - an illusion that he wants to convey - just think of what a president with different values can present to the American people".
When asked if the White House is prepared for such legal challenges, Sanders said, "We're very prepared, but there shouldn't be [legal challenges]".
Grassley has criticized the idea of Trump declaring an emergency to build his wall.
However, there were a few last minute add-ons that Democrats managed to get into the legislation, including a $450 million budget to spend on humanitarian services for illegal immigrants.