President Donald Trump is not confident that he can reach a deal with the Democrats over funding for his border wall and has not ruled out shutting down the Government again if he has to.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said he felt the chances of Congress reaching agreement were low.
“I personally think it’s less than 50-50, but you have a lot of very good people on that board,” he told the WSJ. When asked about the chances of the Federal Government shutting down again he said it was, “certainly an option.” He also refused to rule out calling a national emergency in order to secure funding for the wall.
Trump was also pressed on the future of the Dreamers, the group of people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children but have grown up in the country. When pressed on whether he was likely to agree to offer citizenship to this group, Trump replied, “I doubt it.”
Then, despite having offered an extension to their right to remain in exchange for funding for the border wall, Trump added, “That’s a separate subject to be taken up at a separate time.”
The President also took to Twitter to reemphasize his determination to build the border wall and also highlight what he sees as his many other achievements in office. “Does anybody really think I won’t build the WALL?’, he wrote. “Done more in first two years than any President!
After all that I have done for the Military, our great Veterans, Judges (99), Justices (2), Tax & Regulation Cuts, the Economy, Energy, Trade & MUCH MORE, does anybody really think I won’t build the WALL? Done more in first two years than any President! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2019
He has also been using Twitter to push his catchy new slogan in support of the border wall’s construction. “Build a wall and crime will fall” is his new mantra and he is now tweeting it at regular intervals along with videos and other content in support of his flagship policy.
BUILD A WALL & CRIME WILL FALL! pic.twitter.com/yDdCG5DCxn
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
While President Trump remains bullish about building the wall, others are being more critical about his willingness to use government shutdowns to try and get what he wants.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio told NBC’s Meet the Press that, “Shutdowns are not good leverage in any negotiation.” He added that he hoped Congress would use the upcoming three weeks of discussions to craft a workable solution to border security.
On the same show, Hakeem Jeffries, the chairman of the Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives described shutdowns as “not legitimate negotiating tactics”
Meanwhile, on CBS’ Face the Nation, acting White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney said, “We hope that by the end of this week, all the back pay will be made up.”