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Before boarding Marine One to visit the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas Thursday, President Trump said he is leaning toward declaring a national emergency after it was clear in Wednesday's meeting with the congressional Democrats they were not going to fund the $5 billion for the border wall.

One big quote: "I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency. I haven't done it yet. I may do it. If this doesn't work out, probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely."

When asked why he hasn't declared a national emergency already, President Trump said he would like to make a deal to reopen the government through Congress, because that makes the most sense. "But the easy route is for me call a national emergency and do it," he said.

  • "It would be nice if we could make a deal but dealing with [Democrats] is ridiculous. ... They have gotten crazy."
  • "China is actually much easier to deal with than the opposition party."
  • “I didn’t pound the table. I didn’t pound the table. That is a lie. ... I don’t have temper tantrums. ... All of that narrative is a lie.”

Go deeper: All the ways Americans are feeling the effects of the shutdown

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.