President Trump has been working the phones and asking for advice from friends and aides in recent days about whether he should declare an emergency at the border in order to secure funding for his wall, a source close to the President said.
Here's what they're telling them: Trump has been told by several of his allies and advisers that declaration "probably won't work" from a legal standpoint, the source said. This doesn't mean he's closed the door to the possibility but this is the feedback he's received. Trump is urgently looking for a political win to sell to his base as he has become increasingly concerned about the Mueller report, the source added.
A separate source and adviser to Trump said the President has been receiving advice telling him he should declare that state of emergency so he has something to sell to his base. If it goes to the courts, Trump can say he tried.
This adviser put the stakes for Trump in very stark terms: If he doesn't get his wall, this adviser said, "it will absolutely be something that we have to deal with in the reelection." The adviser said Trump runs the risk of projecting weakness to his base should he fail in securing the funding for his wall. "At some point you're either a chief executive or not."