The South Carolina Republican said the president should continue trying to cut a deal with Democrats before declaring an emergency as a last resort.

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday that President Trump should agree to reopen the government and continue trying to hammer out a deal with Democrats on funding his long-promised border wall — but that the president should declare a national emergency if no progress is made in three weeks.

In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham maintained that Trump is not going to give up on his demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But he argued that reopening the government and attempting to find a legislative solution, then declaring a national emergency if those talks don’t bear fruit, is the best way forward.

“I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug. See if we can get a deal. If we can’t at the end of three weeks, all bets are off. See if he can do it by himself through the emergency powers,” Graham said.

Waiting three weeks would take the negotiations past Trump’s State of the Union address later this month.

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