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Trump, Kushner met with contractors to discuss building border wall

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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: Senior advisor to the President Jared Kushner (L) leans in to speak with U.S. President Donald Trump during the signing ceremony for the First Step Act and the Juvenile Justice Reform Act in the Oval Office of the White House December 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Trump administration is battling on multiple fronts with major developments on U.S. foreign policy in Syria, the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, a falling stock market, and a potential governmental shutdown at midnight. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON DC — President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, met with contractors at the White House to discuss building the border wall late last week, two sources with knowledge of the meeting told CNN.

Despite CNN reporting that several senior Senate Republicans and members of GOP leadership have raised serious concerns about the possibility of Trump bypassing Congress and using an emergency declaration to build his wall, the President’s meeting with contractors shows that he is seriously considering doing so.

The White House declined to comment on the meeting. White House counsel Pat Cipollone was also present.

Trump came close to declaring an emergency after competing proposals to end the government shutdown both failed in the Senate at the end of January. But aides convinced him that waiting three weeks while a special committee of senators and representatives attempted to hash out a deal was a better idea. Then, if those congressional negotiators couldn’t come up with an agreement that funded the wall, he could declare a national emergency.

Trump has expressed doubt in recent days that the committee will find a solution he accepts.

“Listen closely to the State of the Union,” he said Friday when asked if he was ready to announce a national emergency.

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