WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday issued his first veto, rejecting legislation to overturn his declaration of a national emergency to fund a wall along the southwestern border. The bill had attracted significant Republican support in Congress, a rare and notable departure from partisan solidarity.
“Today, I am vetoing this resolution,” Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it.” The president called the resolution “dangerous,” “reckless” and a “vote against reality.”
Mr. Trump was flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William P. Barr and Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary. Mr. Barr said the president’s emergency order was “clearly authorized under the law” and “solidly grounded in law.”
The veto, which was expected, will send the legislation back to Congress, which almost certainly does not have enough votes for an override. That means Mr. Trump’s declaration will remain in effect.
Democrats were quick to condemn the president’s action.
“It is no surprise that the president holds the rule of law and our Constitution in minimal regard,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said in a statement. “There is no emergency; Congress has refused to fund his wall multiple times; Mexico won’t pay for it; and a bipartisan majority in both chambers just voted to terminate his fake emergency.”
To that, Speaker Nancy Pelosi added, “The House and Senate resoundingly rejected the president’s lawless power grab, yet the president has chosen to continue to defy the Constitution, the Congress and the will of the American people.”
Mr. Trump has long insisted that there was a security and humanitarian crisis at the border with Mexico, an assertion that was undercut by Mr. Trump himself when he acknowledged that he could have waited to issue a declaration. But on Friday, he offered a flurry of statistics to support his contention, though many were vague. He blurred numbers that reflected a humanitarian problem with those he said represented a security issue.
Democrats had seized on his earlier words and cited other government data that shows there has been no flood of criminal migrants coming into the…