President Donald Trump vowed Sunday not to cave in the shutdown fight with Democrats over border wall funding.
“There’s not going to be any bend right here,” Trump said, reminding reporters that his voters and even some Democrat voters supported the idea of stronger border security.
Trump spoke to reporters at the White House on the ongoing shutdown as it entered its 16th day.
“I don’t like doing this, I have no fun doing this, I was elected to protect our country, that’s what I’m doing,” he said.
The president traveled with staff to Camp David in Maryland to work on agenda items for the upcoming year.
Trump said it would be easy to end the shutdown, calling for Democrats to negotiate.
“Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and myself can solve this in 20 minutes if they want to, if they don’t want to, it’s going to go on for a long time,” he said.
Trump noted that previous presidents and senators had no objection to voting for or funding barriers on the Southern border.
“Presidents before me have all voted for this, or many of them, and many of the senators that I’m negotiating with right now have voted for this, but let me tell you something, they didn’t have the guts to do it,” he said. “They didn’t have the guts to do things that they should have done.”
Trump suggested that he might call the wall “something different” to bring Democrats to the table, but said he preferred a “steel” barrier over concrete.
“Everybody’s playing games, but I can say this, I think that the Democrats want to make a deal,” Trump said.
Trump noted that even the establishment media was reporting the surge of illegal immigration, citing reporting from the Washington Post.
“The surge to come into our country has never been stronger, and it’s very unfair to people that want to come in legally,” he said.
The president again confirmed that he was considering declaring a State of Emergency to fund the wall.
“I may declare a national emergency dependent on what’s going to happen over the next few days,” he said.