Carlos Barria | Reuters
President Donald Trump declares a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border during remarks about border security in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, February 15, 2019.
President Donald Trump's words are being used against him in a slew of lawsuits challenging his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.
In at least three lawsuits filed in federal court in recent days, lawyers have seized on the president's remark during Friday's press conference announcing the declaration that he "didn't need to" declare a national emergency.
In suits brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, Public Citizen and 16 U.S. states, the challengers have argued that the president's comments show that his national emergency declaration is a matter of personal preference or a negotiating tactic — not a true emergency requiring the use of American armed forces, as the White House has claimed.