WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says that he told congressional leaders the partial government shutdown could go on for months or years. But he said he didn’t think it would.
The government is in its 14th day of a partial government shutdown over Trump’s insistence for funding of his proposed wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters their nearly two-hour meeting with Trump was “somewhat contentious.” Trump called it “productive.”
In the Rose Garden after the meeting Friday, Trump said he wouldn’t end up reopening the closed government agencies until he gets border security. “We have to get a structure built,” he said.
The president said he’s designated a team that will meet over the weekend with lawmakers to resolve the standoff over his demand for a border wall.
Trump also told reporters Friday that he could officially declare a national emergency to build a border wall but wants to try to negotiate a border wall with Congress.
“I can do it if I want. We can call a national emergency. I may do it,” Trump said.
He says he thinks the standoff over the border wall, which has resulted in a partial government shutdown, is going to be over sooner than people think.
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Vice President Mike Pence says there is a crisis at the border.
Trump said that the official ports of entry are strong, but there are miles and miles of unprotected areas along the border where drug and people smugglers enter the United States. He says the only way to stop it is to have a solid concrete or steel structure to close off the open areas.