WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room Thursday, flanked by border patrol agents championing his demand for a wall on the U.S. southern border.

It’s the first time Trump has taken the podium in the briefing room.

Trump says the “people in our country want” the wall.

He has also congratulated Nancy Pelosi, who was installed hours before as speaker of the Democratic-controlled House. Trump and the Democrats are locked in an impasse with the partial government shutdown in its 13th day.

Trump is demanding that lawmakers provide billions of dollars for a border wall. The border agents who accompanied Trump told reporters the wall is essential to stopping illegal migration and drug-smuggling.

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