GOP leader unsure on legality of Trump’s emergency declaration

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Funding a strong defense of our nation's democratic process can't wait The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (R-Ky.) says he has yet to determine whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE’s emergency declaration to build border barriers is legal.

Asked for his legal opinion after meeting with a Department of Justice lawyer at a Tuesday luncheon of the GOP conference, McConnell said, “I haven’t reached a total conclusion.”

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McConnell said while he graduated from law school, he’s not an expert on constitutional questions of separations of power.

“I wouldn’t go, to me, for a simple will,” he said, while noting, “I did go to law school.”

“We had real serious lawyers in there discussing that very issue,” he said, summarizing the lunchtime discussion with Vice President Pence and the senior lawyer from Justice.

“We had a very fulsome discussion of this issue in the conference at noon today with the vice president,” McConnell added.

He described his GOP colleagues as “extremely interested” in the topic.

“We really do think there’s a crisis at the border,” he added.

Three Republican senators — Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Overnight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey Epstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse MORE (Alaska) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisRepublicans scramble to contain Trump fallout McConnell says Trump is not a racist, but calls for better rhetoric GOP senator: 'Outrageous' to say Trump's tweets about Democratic congresswomen are racist MORE (N.C.) — say they will support a Democratic-sponsored resolution of disapproval on the emergency declaration.

McConnell said it will come up for a vote on the Senate floor before the recess scheduled for mid-March.