President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the government shutdown will continue until he gets his funding for the border barrier, adding that he will visit a new stretch of wall at the southern border in January.
“I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open. I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it,” the President said in the Oval Office after a Christmas call with U.S. troops.
So far, negotiations between Democrats in Congress and the administration about the border wall funding have not led to an agreement and the government will remain closed until at least Thursday when the Senate reconvenes. Neither side seems willing to give in, increasing the chances that parts of the government won’t reopen until the new Congress is seated in the first week of January when Democrats are to take control of the House.
President Trump further claimed he had approved 115 miles worth of border barrier, but the White House refused to confirm the claim, CNN informs.
“It’s going to be built, hopefully rapidly. I’m going there at the end of January for the start of construction. That’s a big stretch,” Trump noted. “We’re almost having a groundbreaking, it’s such a big section. It’s probably the biggest section we’ll get out.”
President Trump also made another unsubstantiated claim that federal employees on furlough or working without pay understand and support his demand for a border wall.
“I think they understand what’s happening. They want border security. The people of this country want border security,” Trump pointed out, before saying that the only ones who don’t want the wall are Democrats.
“It’s not a question of me. I would rather not be doing shutdowns. I’ve been at the White House. I love the White House, but I wasn’t able to be with my family,” he continued. “I thought it would be wrong for me to be with my family, my family is in Florida, Palm Beach, and I just didn’t want to go down and be there when other people are hurting.”