President Donald Trump seemed at least somewhat optimistic as he faced a potential Supreme Court challenge to his decision to halt a controversial immigration program.
Trump sparked a political firestorm when he initially decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last year before facing a series of court decisions blocking the administration from implementing the decision.
The program started under former President Barack Obama and, according to some, was unconstitutional in that it appeared to be a power grab by the executive branch on immigration policy.
Although Trump said he thought the Supreme Court should rule against Obama creating the program, he warned that doing so would give him “tremendous power.”
“If the Supreme Court rules that President Obama was wrong, which they should because — by the way, if he was right, then I’ve been given tremendous power,” he said Wednesday.
Watch Trump’s comments below:
President Trump: "Can you imagine me having that power, wouldn't that be scary? Right? No, if Pres. Obama is allowed to do what he did on DACA, then I'm allowed to whatever I want to do on things that probably… a president doesn't have the right to do." https://t.co/ij47DuYYs6 pic.twitter.com/V3MaiuseRD
— The Hill (@thehill) January 2, 2019
He added that “if President Obama is allowed to do what he did on DACA, then I’m allowed to do whatever I want to do on things that, you know, probably a president […] doesn’t have the right to do,”
Trump’s comments came amid a government shutdown started by the inability of Congress and the White House to compromise on immigration. Many congressional Democrats have long pushed for Congress to help DACA recipients and opposed the billions of dollars in funding that Trump requested for a southern border wall.
The Democrats seemed unwilling to budge on that last provision, but Trump has indicated he would be open to trading wall funding for a deal on DACA.