Schiff: Intel chiefs testimony may ‘undermine’ Trump’s ability to declare emergency for wall

Schiff: Intel chiefs testimony may ‘undermine’ Trump’s ability to declare emergency for wall

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDems fear Trump is looking at presidential pardons The Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies first veto after latest clash with Senate GOP The real reason Nancy Pelosi has backed away from impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that new testimony from top U.S. intelligence officials could "undermine" President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE's ability to declare a national emergency for constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The fact that none of the intel chiefs brought up a threat at the southern border as being one of the most pressing threats facing the country, that could be Exhibit A in a challenge to any kind of a declaration of a national emergency,” Schiff said on MSNBC, a day after Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsResearchers: Chinese influence operations seek to elevate China's image, not sow discord Congress should support efforts to further protect pipelines from cyber threats Kim says he wouldn't be at summit with Trump if he were not ready to denuclearize MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee about global threats to the U.S.

The two officials discussed issues such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, China and Russia, among other things, during Tuesday's hearing.


Schiff argued that their testimony showed "that none of the intelligence agencies think" there is an "emergency" at the border, adding "both parties don’t think this is an emergency."

"I think, if anything, it is going to undermine that legal case that the president may try to make, that hearing yesterday could be a central exhibit," Schiff said.

Trump has promised since his 2016 campaign to build a border wall. During the recent partial government shutdown, which lasted a record 35 days, the president insisted on funding from Congress to build a wall.

He eventually signed a continuing resolution that temporarily reopened the government, without money for wall construction. 

Trump has floated the idea of declaring a national emergency if Congress can't reach an agreement that provides wall funding. Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCNN anchor hits Trump: He didn't go to Vietnam 'until he was in his 70s' with 'Secret Service protection' Trump reignites criticism of McCain months after senator's death Graham defends McCain amid Trump attacks: 'Nothing about his service will ever be changed' MORE (R-S.C.) on Monday said Trump "must" take that step if lawmakers can't reach a deal with the White House.

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Trump: I told Republicans to vote for 'transparency' in releasing Mueller report House votes for Mueller report to be made public MORE (R-Mich.) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Ocasio-Cortez's favorable, unfavorable ratings up: poll Rubio, Menendez request probe into administration's nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia MORE (R-Fla.) have both voiced opposition to using emergency powers as an option, with Rubio calling it a "terrible" idea.