President Trump used his veto for the first time Friday to overturn a congressional resolution that would have prevented him from using defense funds to build the border wall.
The resolution was passed by the Senate controlled by GOP 59-41 - with 12 Republicans defying the president - after being approved by the Democrat-controlled House.
But the Senate does not have the 67 votes needed for a waiver.
Trump said "They were very brave yesterday and I appreciate that a lot."
Later, he released the rogue Republicans.
Trump surrounded himself with law enforcement professionals, who praised him, and so-called "Angel Moms," mothers of Americans killed by illegal immigrants.
Trump has declared a national emergency to release billions of dollars for the construction of the wall, despite public warnings from many reputed Republicans that Congress would consider this a violation of its precedent-setting powers.