White House warns shutdown could carry on after emergency declaration

But Trump’s allies say the president is reluctant to hand Democrats a “win” by reopening the government after he’s invoked emergency powers. They claim that in such a scenario, Trump’s political opponents would avoid making a single concession and potentially score a major victory if the administration were to lose in federal courts as many legal experts predict.

“He could say, ‘Look, I’m going to get what I want and then I’m still going to screw you,’” a former White House official told POLITICO.

“It’s making Democrats feel pain instead of declaring a national emergency, opening the government up, and making it so they don’t have to give anything,” the former official added.