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

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1 hour ago - Sports

Pac-12 football players threaten coronavirus opt-out

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A group of Pac-12 football players have threatened to opt out of the season unless the conference addresses systemic inequities and concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: College football players have never had more leverage than they do right now, as the sport tries to stage a season amid the pandemic. And their willingness to use it shows we've entered a new age in college sports.

Betting on inflation is paying off big for investors

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The specter of rising inflation is helping power assets like gold, silver and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) to strong returns with record demand this year.

The big picture: Investors continue to pack in even as inflation metrics like the consumer price index (CPI) and personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index have remained anchored.

Scoop: Top CEOs urge Congress to help small businesses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With a new coronavirus relief measure stalled in Congress, CEOs of some of the world's biggest companies have banded together to send a message to Washington: Get money to small businesses now!

Why it matters: "By Labor Day, we foresee a wave of permanent closures if the right steps are not taken soon," warns the letter, organized by Howard Schultz and signed by more than 100 CEOs.