Trump says shutdown will continue until his border wall demand is met

Trump says shutdown will continue until his border wall demand is met

Trump says shutdown will continue until his border wall demand is met

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he is prepared to wait as long as it takes to get $5 billion from taxpayers for his U.S. -Mexico border wall, a demand that has triggered a partial shutdown of the federal government that is now in its fifth day.

Trump then appeared to remember what day it was, and finished his short press conference by saying: 'But other than that I wish everybody a very merry Christmas'.

Trump, speaking to reporters Tuesday in the Oval Office during the fourth day of the impasse, also revealed that he will be going to the border in Texas for a "groundbreaking" ceremony for a portion of the project at the end of January. "What we do support - Democrats and Republicans - is real, effective border security. We can't do it without a barrier, we can't do it without a wall", Trump continued.

One union representing federal workers slammed Trump's claim.

Congress has left Washington until December 27, delaying negotiations to end the shutdown.

The president also lamented canceling his holiday trip to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida as the government remains partially closed.

"There may be a case of an Olympic champion who may get over the wall, but for the most part, you're not going to be able to do it", Trump said of getting around such a structure.

"I can't tell you when the government is going to reopen", Trump said, speaking after a Christmas Day video conference with US troops serving overseas. That jump-started negotiations between Congress and the White House, but the deadline came and went without a deal. "(I) thought it would be wrong for me to be with my family.

Democrats oppose spending money on a wall, preferring instead to pump the dollars into fencing, technology and other means of controlling access to the border.

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has given a "counter-offer" that was "between those two numbers". He was supposed to spend Christmas at Mar-a-Lago with FLOTUS Melania Trump and their whole family but apparently, he can not join them due to the government problems that he needs to solve. "Anna, and my son McGyver & I would love to help with your mortgage if you will allow. #MerryXmas", he added.

The president said he aimed to have a barrier stretching across 500 to 550 miles of the 2,000-mile border, and "to have it either renovated or brand new by election time". He said he's open to calling the wall something else as long as he ends up with an actual wall.

Asked what he would do if the House passes a bill that doesn't fund a wall, Trump said "that's probably presidential harassment, and we know how to handle that", using a term his allies coined to describe anticipated Democratic investigations of the Trump administration. Democrats say a physical barrier would be expensive and ineffective.

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