Trump says he’s ‘prepared’ to keep government shut for years
Trump threatens to declare a national emergency to get wall built if Democrats do not give him the $5bn he’s requested.
Trump addresses a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House following a meeting with Congressional leaders on the government shutdown [Alex Edelman/AFP]
US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he is prepared to keep parts of the government closed for years if he does not get the billions of dollars he has requested to help fund a wall on the border with Mexico.
Following a meeting with congressional leaders, Trump confirmed that he told top Democrats that he would keep the government closed for months or years if he did not get wall funding.
“Absolutely, I said that,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.
“I don’t think it will. But I am prepared,” he added. “I hope it doesn’t go on even before a few more days. It really could open very quickly. We had a very, very productive meeting, and we’ve come a long way”.
The comments came after the president and congressional leaders failed to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown, now into its 14th day, that has centred on Trump’s demand for funding for a border wall, one of his key campaign promises.
Trump’s tone was more positive compared with the Democrats, who said the conversation was “lengthy and sometimes contentious”.
Nancy Pelosi, the newly elected Democratic speaker of the House, said that her party recognises “that we really cannot resolve this until we open up [the] government and we made that very clear to the president.