Trump says he will be ‘proud’ to shut down the government for YEARS if he doesn’t get his Mexican wall and says he might declare a NATIONAL EMERGENCY to build it as ‘contentious’ White House talks end in stalemate
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Shumer met Trump in the White House but left saying there is no deal to re-open the government
- Schumer said Trump told them he would shut down the government for ‘months or even years’ and Pelosi said talks were ‘at times contentious’
- Trump used lengthy Rose Garden press conference to confirm he would be willing to close the government for years – and added he was ‘proud’ to do so
- He said he was considering declaring a national emergency to allow him to build the wall without legislative approval
- Vice President Mike Pence suggested that the president could use a program giving legal status to illegal immigrant children as an incentive
- Pence had said that Trump’s stance heading into a Friday morning meeting with congressional leaders is ‘no wall, no deal,’ but he’s willing to negotiate
Donald Trump told Congressional leaders Friday that he will shut down the government for ‘months or even years’ if he does not get money for his border wall with Mexico — and said he was ‘proud’ to do it because it’s the right thing.
Trump’s threat was first disclosed by Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, during a news conference outside the White House. He accused the president of holding federal workers ‘hostage’ for the wall and urged him to continue the conversation with the government open.
The president confirmed the remarks as he addressed reporters in the Rose Garden.
‘I did. I did. I did say that. Absolutely, I said that. I don’t think it will, but I am prepared,’ Trump said at the beginning of a lengthy news conference.
Trump claimed the meeting was ‘very, very productive,’ which was a stark contrast to the tone adopted by Democratic leaders, and said that he was setting up a working group led by Mike Pence, the vice president that would meet this weekend to discuss how to move forward on the shutdown.
He headed to the Rose Garden after the meeting for an impromptu press conference flanked by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Pence, Republican Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader had been present for the talks but was not at the press conference. Trump claimed he was ‘busy running the Senate,’ even though it had adjourned until Tuesday.
Trump described his wall as a vital national security measure, and in a free-wheeling performance claimed that illegal immigrants were being driven across it away from ports of entries, in some cases with women in the back of their vehicles with their mouths taped over.
The president also disclosed that he had considered declaring a national emergency to build the wall without legislative approval and said: ‘I can do it, if I want.’
‘We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country. Absolutely. No, we can do it. I haven’t done it. I may do it,’ he said. ‘We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly.’