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Trump says no end to shutdown until border barrier funded, plans January visit to new section of wall

President Donald Trump said Tuesday the government won't reopen until funding is secured for his border barr...

Posted: Dec 26, 2018 9:30 AM
Updated: Dec 26, 2018 9:30 AM

President Donald Trump said Tuesday the government won't reopen until funding is secured for his border barrier, and he plans to go to the border in January to visit a new stretch of wall.

"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," Trump said in the Oval Office after a Christmas call with US troops.

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Negotiations between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration over the President's demands for a border wall have so far not yielded an agreement, and the shutdown will continue until at least Thursday, when the Senate returns to Washington. Both sides seem entrenched in their opposing stances and it's possible parts of the government could remain closed until the new Congress is seated in the first week of January, when Democrats will take control of the House.

Trump repeated a claim made a day earlier -- without explanation -- that he'd recently approved 115 miles worth of border barrier. The White House hasn't provided any further details about the claim, which Trump first made on Twitter on Christmas Eve.

He said he would go to the new stretch of the wall in January.

"It's going to be built, hopefully rapidly," he said. "I'm going there at the end of January for the start of construction. That's a big stretch."

"We're almost having a groundbreaking, it's such a big section," he said. "It's probably the biggest section we'll get out."

Trump has previously visited wall prototypes near the border.

During a brief question-and-answer session with reporters, Trump also said he continues to have confidence in Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, despite the December downturn in the stock market. He also warned Democrats that oversight of his administration would amount to "presidential harassment."

Trump also claimed, without evidence, that federal employees on furlough or working without pay understand his demand for a border wall -- and support him in his mission.

"I think they understand what's happening," he said. "They want border security. The people of this country want border security."

"It's not a question of me," he continued. "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. 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."

Trump was presumably referring to his adult children; his wife, Melania Trump, returned to the White House on Monday to spend the holiday with her husband.

Trump said many federal workers have told him to hold out for wall funding, though the President didn't provide names or positions of those workers.

"But many of those workers have said to me and communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall. These federal workers want the wall. The only one that doesn't want the wall are the Democrats, because they don't mind open borders, but open borders mean massive amounts of crime," he said.

This story has been updated

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10863104
Hinds10705207
Harrison7624114
Jackson6774131
Rankin6303114
Lee557798
Madison5311112
Forrest405587
Jones388589
Lauderdale3754149
Lafayette347358
Washington3421108
Lamar310350
Lowndes265168
Oktibbeha262763
Bolivar254686
Panola243754
Neshoba2333124
Marshall229451
Leflore216492
Monroe216278
Pontotoc213631
Lincoln203267
Sunflower198156
Warren189559
Tate187251
Union179626
Copiah176141
Pike170860
Pearl River168170
Itawamba166637
Scott166030
Yazoo164441
Alcorn161529
Coahoma160044
Prentiss159034
Simpson156954
Grenada149545
Adams148852
Leake146244
George138326
Covington137642
Holmes136861
Tippah135230
Winston134326
Hancock132842
Wayne127424
Attala126836
Marion126548
Tishomingo116444
Newton114929
Chickasaw112632
Tallahatchie101227
Clay98527
Clarke96954
Jasper90023
Stone85115
Calhoun82413
Montgomery80726
Walthall80430
Carroll78115
Lawrence76814
Smith76516
Yalobusha75728
Noxubee74817
Perry70127
Greene66023
Tunica64019
Amite61815
Jefferson Davis60818
Claiborne59716
Humphreys56119
Benton51018
Quitman5107
Kemper50019
Webster49514
Wilkinson42522
Jefferson39012
Franklin3866
Choctaw3757
Sharkey33517
Issaquena1254
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 264199

Reported Deaths: 3831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson35310515
Mobile20626372
Madison14521153
Tuscaloosa13897173
Montgomery12844246
Shelby1127878
Baldwin9501138
Lee807167
Morgan740555
Etowah704870
Marshall695358
Calhoun6939126
Houston559140
DeKalb521843
Cullman490650
St. Clair466557
Limestone462446
Lauderdale452257
Elmore440070
Walker3914112
Talladega386157
Jackson373523
Colbert347948
Blount323146
Autauga294542
Franklin265534
Coffee260023
Dale247355
Dallas236832
Chilton235445
Covington234834
Russell23433
Escambia208832
Tallapoosa192692
Chambers189154
Clarke165422
Pike165215
Marion150236
Winston146325
Lawrence139936
Pickens129720
Geneva12929
Marengo127824
Bibb127038
Barbour121729
Butler121142
Cherokee108224
Randolph108022
Fayette102216
Hale102132
Clay95527
Washington94222
Henry9097
Monroe85311
Lowndes82930
Cleburne80914
Macon77522
Crenshaw73830
Lamar7348
Conecuh73215
Bullock71120
Perry7037
Wilcox65918
Sumter60122
Greene45818
Choctaw43620
Coosa3854
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