President Donald Trump said Senate Republicans considering opposition to his emergency declaration on the border are “playing with fire,” according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, who met with the president on Tuesday morning.
The South Carolina Republican said his meeting with the president focused mostly on the border and the number of illegal crossings as Trump faces certain bipartisan defeat on his emergency declaration in the Senate later this month.
Four Republican senators have said they will join 47 Senate Democrats in voting to block the national emergency declaration, though Trump will veto it and Congress likely won’t be able to muster the votes to override it. And though Trump is not waging a massive campaign to convert Republicans to his side, he’s acutely aware of the politics of the issue.
“He says he thinks Republicans are playing with fire here because most Republicans, anyway, most people I hope, will see that the border is in a state of crisis,” Graham said, adding that Trump believes GOP senators that defy him are likely to face a political backlash. “That’s his observation, but he’s not out there calling people out or anything.”
These guys play with fire, too. And the fire loses.