Ex-White House aide says Trump understands risks surrounding emergency declaration

Former special assistant to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCummings says Ivanka Trump not preserving all official communications Property is a fundamental right that is now being threatened 25 states could see severe flooding in coming weeks, scientists say MORE Marc Lotter on Tuesday said that Trump is aware of the risks of declaring a state of emergency in order to get funding for his border wall, saying he prefers Congress to reach an agreement. 

"The president could have declared this months ago," Lotter, who also served as press secretary to Vice President Pence, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

"He very much wants Congress to do its job because he knows that if we go through the national declaration or the legal possibilities for pursuing wall funding, it's going to be tied up in the courts for years," he continued. 

"If we can get Congress to do its job, come up with a compromise, we're still 16, 17 days now since he made his proposal during the shutdown offer of a compromise, and we've still gotten no counterproposal from the Democrats," he said. "If we can get them to negotiate, we can get construction on the wall started very quickly." 

The president has floated the idea of declaring a state of emergency in the case that Congress does not reach an agreement on border wall funding in an effort to avert another government shutdown. 

Federal workers endured the longest shutdown in U.S. history in December and January due to the disagreement between Republicans and Democrats on the border wall. 

Trump on Friday suggested he was still open to the idea of declaring a state of emergency, telling reporters that there is a "good chance" he will resort to an emergency declaration in order to secure funding for his proposed border wall. 

“I don’t want to say,” the president said. “But you’ll hear the State of the Union and then you’ll see what happens right after the State of the Union, OK?”

Lotter told Hill.TV that he does not expect Trump to declare a state of emergency during Tuesday's address. 

"I don't think that he'll do it tonight," he said. "And while I don't want to get ahead of what the president is saying and I don't know that to be true or not, we still got two weeks, a week and a half before the next government shutdown." 

— Julia Manchester