President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing on Marine One from the White House on January 10, 2019 in Washington, DC before traveling to McAllen, Texas, where he will visit the U.S. -Mexico border.
"Time for President [Trump] to use emergency powers to build wall/barrier", Graham said via Twitter on Thursday.
Graham's remarks reflect the building frustration on Capitol Hill on the 20th day of the partial government shutdown over President Trump's $5 billion demand for border wall funding which the Democrats are refusing to meet.
President Trump referenced his advisers Bill Shine, Kellyanne Conway and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who were all in the room during the off-the-record meeting, first reported by the New York Times, and said they convinced him the trip would be "worth it". "It requires an agreement between a Democratic House, the Democrats in the Senate and the President".
The president also said he will not go to the worldwide conference in Davos, Switzerland, later this month if the shutdown continues.
In McAllen, Texas, Mr. Trump visited a border patrol station where he was briefed by agents on the situation at the border.
While it's not certain President Trump will declare an emergency, the White House likes being able to hold the card over Democrats who they say have refused to compromise or even negotiate.
"When - during the campaign, I would say, "Mexico is going to pay for it", obviously, I never said this and I never meant they're going to write out a check. It's in your hands", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday on the floor.
"I don't have temper tantrums", he said.
Analysts say the declaration would likely be challenged in court as a case of presidential overreach, in which case the wall still could face being blocked.
"Somebody's got to like get some energy to fix this", he said. They get through the border and they go and filter into the country and you have MS-13 gangs in places like Los Angeles and you have gangs all over Long Island, which we're knocking the hell out of. "It's common sense. Look, we're not going anywhere". "The Opposition Party & the Dems know we must have Strong Border Security, but don't want to give "Trump" another one of many wins!"