The ongoing back-and-forth between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats over funding a wall on the southern border isn't over — in fact, it's apparently barely started. During a meeting with Democrats on Jan. 4 over the government shutdown, which has gone nearly two weeks, Trump drew a line in the sand: money for the wall or keeping the government shut down for as long as it takes to get it. And according to Trump, the government shutdown might go for years, so... that's not good.
In the Jan. 4 meeting, which Democrats called "contentious" but Trump characterized as "productive," the president reportedly threatened to keep the government shut down "for a very long period of time — months or even years" — until his request is met, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump later confirmed his reported comments in the same press conference, admitting that he "absolutely" said them. The White House did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment. Though he added that he doesn't think the shutdown will last that long and that he hopes it doesn't go "beyond a few days," Trump added that he is prepared in the event that it does. He said:
I think I can speak for Republicans in the House and Republicans in the Senate and they feel very strongly about having a safe country, having a border that makes sense. Without borders... we don't have a country.
When asked if he was proud to own the shutdown, Trump continued, "I'm very proud of what I'm doing. I don't call it a shutdown. I call it doing what you have to do." In other words, settle in, because Trump is making clear that he's sticking to his guns, even though Democrats have maintained that they aren't offering him a cent more than the $1.3 billion they've already put on the table. The president did not answer a reporter's question regarding what the "productive" part of the meeting was or whether Democrats had moved to compromise with him.
While Trump has long promised a border wall with Mexico (like, way back in his presidential campaign), his plans have seen multiple changes and setbacks. As of late, the topic has become increasingly heated. On Dec. 29, 2018, Trump blasted Democrats for failing to reach a plan to reopen the government, tweeting that they were too focused on "presidential harassment" rather than coming to an agreement on border security. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for further comment on and clarification of Trump's comments at the time, but did not hear back. And the day before, he threatened to close the southern border "entirely" if he isn't given what he asked for. The White House did not return Elite Daily's request for comment at the time. All this came in the wake of a heated meeting between Trump and Democratic leaders, during which the president hurled barbs at the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Schumer, and Schumer tossed verbal jabs back at Trump — both sides declaring that they weren't willing to budge on their offers.
It's sad that an agreement hasn't been reached after all this time, but in hindsight, is anyone surprised? Day 13 down, (maybe) many more to go.