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Trump says Republicans who cross him on border emergency declaration are ‘at great jeopardy’

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump warned Thursday that fellow Republicans who vote to nullify his national emergency declaration at the U.S.-Mexico border are putting themselves "at great jeopardy" politically.

Trump's comments come as the Senate prepares to vote on a measure aimed at thwarting the president's use of the declaration to direct billions of dollars more in funding to border barriers than Congress has authorized.

"I think that really it's a very dangerous thing for people to be voting against border security," Trump said in an interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity. "I really think that Republicans that vote against border security and the wall, I think you know, I've been okay at predicting things, I think they put themselves at great jeopardy."

The interview was recorded before Trump’s departure from his summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and is scheduled to air in full Thursday night.

The House on Tuesday voted 245 to 182 for the resolution rebuking Trump, with 13 Republicans joining Democrats to nullify his order.

Three Senate Republicans have announced plans to vote for the resolution - Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - while several others are wavering.

Those supporting the resolution have voiced concern that Trump's emergency declaration could be cited as a precedent by future Democratic presidents to do an end-run on Congress on issues where they can't get their way.

Trump issued the emergency declaration Feb. 15, as part of a deal to keep the government open after a 35-day partial shutdown over Christmas and much of January.

The president agreed to sign a spending bill that keeps the government funded through Sept. 30 and provides $1.375 billion for 55 miles of fencing along the Texas border, but he said he needed billions more.

The administration plans to redirect an additional $6.7 billion from several sources, including $3.6 billion from military construction projects that can be accessed via the emergency declaration.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mitt Romney of Utah are among the Senate Republicans who have questioned Trump's strategy but not committed to voting to nullify the emergency declaration.

Earlier this week, Rubio said he objected to the concept on "separation of powers" grounds and opposed how money moved from other accounts to pay for the wall would leave those other projects underfunded. "You don't solve one problem by creating another," Rubio said.

Trump's comments on Thursday reflect a ramping up of rhetoric from the White House against Republicans who cross him on his signature campaign promise to build a southern border wall.

On Wednesday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway sharply criticized House Republicans for failing to deliver sufficient border wall funding to Trump when they controlled the chamber and cited that as a justification for his emergency declaration.

"There's no question the Republican House failed, and they failed us in securing the border, but they also failed to make good on the promise to him that we would get that money for the wall," Conway said during an appearance on Fox News. "They completely lied about that."

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The Washington Post Erica Werner contributed to this report.

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