Trump teases 'major announcement' about shutdown on Saturday

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE tweeted Friday afternoon that he will be making a "major announcement" Saturday from the White House concerning the ongoing government shutdown, which on Friday entered its 28th day.

The president wrote in a brief message that the announcement would concern the "Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border" and the shutdown.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse," Trump wrote

The message raises the possibility that the president is planning to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and win funding for his wall — while ending the partial government shutdown at the same time.

Trump has repeatedly flirted with the idea of declaring a national emergency, though this week he seemed to back away from that proposal, which some critics warned could set a negative precedent.

“It's the easy way out, but Congress should do this,” Trump told reporters earlier in January, adding he would “rather not” pursue the option due to the likelihood of facing court challenges from Democrats.

Trump and the Democratic-controlled House have battled for weeks over the shutdown, which was triggered by the president's demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a border wall.

The fight intensified this week with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNJ governor calls for assessment of coronavirus response after crisis abates Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Hillicon Valley: Zoom draws new scrutiny amid virus fallout | Dems step up push for mail-in voting | Google to lift ban on political ads referencing coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.) urging Trump to put off the State of the Union address and Trump responding by preventing congressional delegations from traveling overseas on military flights during the shutdown. 

That effectively canceled a trip Pelosi and other Democrats had planned to take to Afghanistan this weekend.

Polls suggest Trump is losing the battle for public opinion over the shutdown, another factor in the president's decision of what to do next.