The protests came as President Trump traveled to McAllen, Texas, along the U.S. -Mexico border Thursday to repeat his demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a border wall.
Now 21 days into the partial government shutdown (tied for the longest ever in US history), it's crunch time for Trump. Trump is demanding billions for his wall that Democrats won't give him.
The question of whether the president has the legal authority to build a wall through a national emergency declaration remains an open question and is under review by White House lawyers. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly. "This is a national emergency, if you look what's happening".
Almost $14 billion in emergency disaster relief funds have been allocated but not yet obligated through contracts for a variety of projects in states including California, Florida and Texas and in the USA territory of Puerto Rico that have been ravaged by recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters, according to the aide familiar with the matter.
While it's unclear whether Trump will indeed declare a national emergency, he told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday that without a deal with Congress, "most likely I will do that". Trump says he won't reopen the government without money for the wall. Critics have said the move would be an unconstitutional abuse of emergency powers.
Michael Cohen, former Trump lawyer, agrees to give open testimony in Congress
Adam Schiff , the chairman of the House intelligence committee, also said he would be seeking a closed door hearing with Cohen. Trump told reporters in McAllen, Texas, on Thursday that he was "not worried" about Cohen's testimony "at all".
The White House has said the president's trip is created to allow him to meet with those individuals who are "on the front lines" of what they have called a "national security and humanitarian crisis".
Still, he declared: "A wall works". "What is manufactured is the use of the word 'manufactured, '" Trump said.
That's the same length of time as the 21-day shutdown that stretched from December 1995 to January 1996 as a result of a clash between President Bill Clinton and the GOP Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., accused the president of engaging in political games to fire up his most loyal supporters and suggested that a heated meeting Wednesday with legislators at the White House had been "a setup" so that Trump could walk out of it.