During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood confirmed that President Trump holds the power to build a border wall with Mexico without Congressional approval or by declaring a national emergency.
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Transcript via John Binder at Breitbart:
Mo Brooks: Does 10 U.S.C. § 284 as you understand it, require the declaration of a national emergency before it is implemented?
John Rood: No.
Mo Brooks: It does not?
Brooks: Has President Trump, to your knowledge, ever used 10 U.S.C § 284 to direct the military to build the wall that is necessary for border security?
Rood: No, not to my knowledge, Congressman.
Brooks: If President Trump were to direct the Pentagon and the United States military pursuant to 10 U.S.C § 284 to build such barriers as are necessary to secure our southern border from drug trafficking and international crime cartels would the United States military obey that order?
Rood: If we judge it to be a lawful order, yes sir. And I assume it would be.