President Donald Trump’s planned visit to the U.S. southern border won’t change any minds when it comes to the need to produce funds for his proposed border wall.
That’s not the assessment of a journalist or political pundit, but of the president himself.
During a luncheon earlier this week with television news anchors, Trump lamented that he didn’t believe the trip to the border was in his best interest but said he was still willing to go because his advisers said it was a good idea.
“It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,” Trump said to the news anchors, adding that he felt the trip was just a chance to get a good photo op.
He then gestured to the back of the room toward White House communication team members Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, who were standing behind the anchors. “These people behind you say it’s worth it,” Trump added, according to reporting from the New York Times.
The luncheon between Trump and the news anchors was meant to be an off-the-record event. However, two sources with knowledge of what happened during the luncheon came directly to the Times to tell the publication what the president had said.
The president is planning to visit the southern border in Texas on Thursday in order to highlight what his administration has called a humanitarian and national security crisis. The visit to the border is an attempt to shore up support from the American public for the need of an extended border wall.
Polling on the matter demonstrates it’s an uphill climb for the president, with most polls showing Americans are opposed to funding for the border wall, especially when it’s tied to ending a government shutdown, according to previous reporting from the Inquisitr.
The federal government has been in a partial shutdown status since December 22. Bills that would provide funding for the federal were turned away by the president after he made an ultimatum that they must also include funding of more than $5 billion for a border wall, Voice of America reported.
The Senate had at that point already passed a bill without border wall funding. The House of Representatives, at the time controlled by Republicans, passed the bill with the required funding. That bill was deemed not passable in the Senate, thus leading to the impasse in late December.
A bill by the now-Democratic-controlled House passed in early January that would re-open the government, according to reporting from CNBC. That bill did not include border wall funding, and Trump said he would not sign it if it made its way to his desk.