The US Defense Department is preparing options to build a wall on the US-Mexico border in the event that President Donald Trump declares a national emergency, the latest sign that such a move is gaining support within the White House.
“The Department of Defense is reviewing available authorities and funding mechanisms to identify options to enable border barrier construction,” said US Navy Captain Bill Speaks, a Pentagon spokesman.
“As there has not been such a declaration made, it would be inappropriate to comment further on those efforts,” he said.
Trump threatened on Thursday to use emergency powers to bypass Congress to pay for a wall on the country’s southern border and end the ongoing partial government shutdown that began on December 22.
Trump’s declaration of an emergency at the southern border would allow the US Army Corps of Engineers to design barriers and allow contractors to build them.
Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, who…