President Donald Trump remains resolute about allowing the government shutdown to go on if Democrats continue to refuse to fund border security.
Trump confirmed comments from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who warned that the president was ready to keep the government shut down for up to a year.
“I did say that, absolutely I said that,” he said. “I don’t think it will, but I am prepared, and I think that I can speak for Republicans in the House and Republicans in the Senate. They feel very strongly about having a safe country.”
The president spoke in the Rose Garden with reporters after his meeting with Congressional leaders about the ongoing shutdown.
“I hope it doesn’t go on even beyond a few more days,” he said.
The president added he was proud to take a stand for border security.
“I’m very proud of doing what I’m doing,” he said. “I don’t call it a shutdown. I call it what you have to do for the benefit and for the safety of our country.”
He touted the House vote for border security in December as a great victory for the Republican party, calling it “an incredible day.”
“I was never more proud of my Republican party and those congressmen and women,” he said, referring to the final vote of 217-185 right before the Christmas holiday.
The president met with Pelosi and Schumer for two hours in the White House during a meeting that they described as contentious.
“I’m not saying it was an easy meeting or even a kind meeting or a nice meeting but in the end, I think we’ve come a long way,” he said.
The president has urged aides from both parties to work over the weekend for a solution.
Trump delegated additional negotiations to his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.