Ex-RNC chair warns GOP that Trump’s emergency declaration could backfire

Former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele cautioned his party on Thursday that Republicans “will rue” President Trump’s reported plan to declare a national emergency to fund the border wall should a Democratic president take office.

Steele appeared on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press Daily” and warned of how Trump’s plan may come back to bite Republicans on issues of gun control and climate change.

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“I think at the end of the day, this is something Republicans will rue,” Steele said on MSNBC Thursday.

“If any aspect of this is allowed to stand, they have no credence, no authority to criticize any Democratic president who stands up and says, ‘There’s a national emergency on guns and I’m hereby limiting the sale of future arms in this country,’” he said.

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Steele, who served as Maryland’s lieutenant governor from 2003 to 2007, agreed when host Chuck Todd speculated that if a Democrat were to be elected president, they could make a "real" case to declare a national emergency regarding climate change.

“I think we know what the real national emergency is going to be if there’s a Democratic president,” Todd said. “It’s going to be in climate.”

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., appeared to echo a similar warning during a press conference later in the day.

“If the president can declare an emergency on something he has created as an emergency, an illusion that he wants to convey, just think about what a president with different values can present to the American people,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi later clarified that she was not advocating for any president to bypass Congress.