- Trump lashed out against Democrats again on Friday in a series of tweets in which he threatened to close the U.S.-border with Mexico
- Incoming chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said shortly after 'I think he is' serious
- In addition to a wall, he said he wants an immigration overhaul
- Tied the dispute to trade as he threatened to toss out existing agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico that has been redesigned but not passed
- In tweets on Thursday the president harangued Democrats for 'stupidity' that he said was driving them to oppose his strategy for fighting illegal immigration
- Trump also said most of the federal workers who are out of work because of the partial government shutdown are Democrats
- That, he claims, should motivate his adversaries in Congress to negotiate with him over funding for his long-promised border wall
- Partial shutdown, which affects workers paid through agencies that administer one-quarter of the federal budget, is entering its seventh day
- It will continue until early next week at least and is likely to last into 2019
President Donald Trump returned Friday to a threat to close the nation's southern border if he doesn't get his wall money from Congress.
Trump warned as the weekend began that he'll close every port of entry, if he doesn't see progress not only on his wall, but on a total immigration overhaul.
'We build a Wall or close the Southern Border,' he declared.
He claimed in tweets in the last day that Democratic opposition to his wall is totally political in nature and is untethered from their assertions that his desired border barrier would be impractical. The president said they should work harder to end the current shutdown, because it mainly affects their voters.
Trump also said once more that he could cut off aid to Central America as he raged about the formation of a new caravan.
His incoming chief of staff announced from the White House lawn that he thought the president's threat to close the border at least was serious.
'I think he is,' Mick Mulvaney said on 'Fox & Friends.'
President Donald Trump returned Friday to a threat to close the nation's southern border if he doesn't get his wall money from Congress
The federal government is partially shut down in Washington and remain that way until next week at least. Lawmakers have avoided the capital since Christmas in recognition of the reality that they are nowhere ending the fight with Trump over his border wall
Trump warned as the weekend began that he'll close every port of entry, if he doesn't see progress not only on his wall, but on a total immigration overhaul
His rant wandered into the arena of trade and an agreement with Mexico and Canada
Trump also said once more that he could cut off aid to Central America as he raged about the formation of a new caravan
The federal government is partially shut down in Washington and will remain that way until next week. Lawmakers have avoided the capital since Christmas in recognition of the reality that they are nowhere near ending the fight with Trump.
Mulvaney accused them of 'walking away from the table' on Friday as he outlined the president's latest offer. He wouldn't dive into the details of the negotiations, but he affirmed that Trump 'came off' his $5 billion border request 'slightly' to a lesser number.
'The Democrats have simply shutdown the discussions,' he contended. 'They did not even counter us.'
The Office of Management and Budget director who starts Jan. 2 as Trump's acting chief of staff revealed that nothing was happening behind the scenes at this point.
He said the White House expects the stalemate to continue until Nancy Pelosi locks up the votes to become the next speaker.
Her caucus will control the House in the new year, and she's expected to stay their leader. She's faced headwinds as she vies for the position, though, and the White House claimed Friday that it's preventing her from making a deal.
Appearing on Fox, the White House official designated to do the president's bidding for the day repeatedly steered the discussion to Pelosi's delicate position in the lower chamber.
'Is Nancy Pelosi's speakership worth shutting the government down? Is Nancy Pelosi's speakership worth leaving the border unprotected? That is the discussion that we wish people were having,' he said, 'because that is exactly what is happening in Washington, D.C.'
Fill-in hosts on the program wanted to talk about the president's latest wall request, however, and have a conservation about whether or not he's 'caving' on his original demand for $5 billion for a concrete border wall that he now claims can be steel-slated fence.
'We're not compromising on the importance of border security, just how much money we're gonna spend on it,' Mulvaney responded.
Mulvaney said that Democrats rejected the White House's most recent border security request on Thursday evening and did not provide a counter offer.
'Again, the president is here, the president cancelled his plans — where is Chuck Schumer. Where are Nancy Pelosi? They're not even talking right now. And we don't think they will until the new Congress is sworn in,' he stated.
The president hasn't been seen in person since early Thursday morning, when he was returning to the White House from Germany and Iraq. The last time he addressed reporters from the White House was Christmas morning.
Mulvaney insisted on Fox that the president is 'pretty good at communicating' and 'his message is getting out there' via his tweets.
'I'm the OMB director, I'm the incoming acting chief of staff, I'm not the person who's going to tell the president the best way to communicate,' he rebutted. 'He's pretty good at it.'
The president hasn't been seen in person since early Thursday morning, when he was returning to the White House from Germany and Iraq
His incoming chief of staff announced from the White House lawn that he thought the president's threat to close the border at least was serious. 'I think he is,' Mick Mulvaney said on 'Fox & Friends'
Before Mulvaney went on air, the president went on a tear against 'Obstructionist Democrats' who are blocking his agenda.
'We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,' he said in a long tweet. 'Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!'
Another message in the missive said: 'The United States looses soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a “profit making operation.”
'We build a Wall or close the Southern Border. Bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs. Go back to pre-NAFTA, before so many of our companies and jobs were so foolishly sent to Mexico,' he asserted. 'Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border.'
He went on to say that he would slash aid to Central America countries, where the migrant-filled caravans are originating from, countering his State Department's $5.8 billion pledge in aid earlier this month.
'Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money. Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it. We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries - taking advantage of U.S. for years!' he asserted.
Trump argued Thursday afternoon in tweets that 'everybody knows' that walls 'work perfectly' and his point of view would be vindicated in 2020.
'This isn’t about the Wall, everybody knows that a Wall will work perfectly (In Israel the Wall works 99.9%). This is only about the Dems not letting Donald Trump & the Republicans have a win,' he proclaimed. 'They may have the 10 Senate votes, but we have the issue, Border Security. 2020!'
The president spent the afternoon haranguing Democrats for the 'stupidity' that he said was driving them to oppose his strategy for keeping out illegal immigrants with the border wall that he says he needs at least $5 billion to finish.
'They don’t have much to campaign on, do they? An Open Southern Border and the large scale crime that comes with such stupidity!' he wrote in one of the tweets.
Donald Trump said Thursday afternoon, as the Senate was poised to reconvene, that Democratic 'obstruction' was not only forcing a government shutdown but a historically-long waiting list for his federal nominees
He also put the blame for the current situation on the 9th Circuit, which he said blew up a deal that might otherwise have been struck earlier in the year
He harangued Democrats several minutes later for the 'stupidity' that he said was driving them to oppose his strategy for keeping out illegal immigrants
A statement his White House press secretary sent concurrently claimed that Democrats are the cause of the partial government shutdown that's on its seventh day.
Sarah Sanders did not mention the president's wall at all in the message that talked about a potential border security arrangement.
Instead, she said, 'The President has made clear that any bill to fund the government must adequately fund border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs, criminals, MS-13 gang members, child smugglers and human traffickers into our communities – and protect the American people.
'The Administration understands this crisis and made a reasonable, common-sense solution to Democrats five days ago - we've not received a single response,' she claimed. 'The President and his team stayed in Washington over Christmas hoping to negotiate a deal that would stop the dangerous crisis on the border, protect American communities, and re-open the government. The Democrats decided to go home.'
Democrats had responded to the president, and apparently called Mulvaney again after the White House put them on notice to reject the president's latest appeal for his border wall.
Party leaders blasted him for 'chaos' in the market in a Christmas Eve statement that said they were frankly confused about border security request that began with a $5 billion demand for a wall and moved to somewhere in the ballpark of $2 billion.
A spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday afternoon that Trump's comments didn't pass the 'laugh test' as he mocked the president's wall funding request
Trump confused the ask further when he said in a tweet this week that the border wall money was in addition to $25 billion he claimed had already been approved by Congress. The larger pot he was referring to is part a bill that died in the United States Senate.
A spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday afternoon that Trump's comments didn't pass the 'laugh test' as he mocked the president's wall funding request.
The Senate gaveled in and out at roughly the same time for the week in an acknowledgement that there was no deal to be had in the post-Christmas workdays.
Rules Committee Ranking Member James McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in a statement that his own attempt to bring up a bill in the House to fund the government through February 8 was also shot down.
'It is outrageous that Republicans once again blocked our attempt to debate a bill to end the Trump Shutdown and reopen the government,' he said. 'Federal workers should not be held hostage by the president’s demand for a useless and offensive border wall that he promised Mexico would pay for.'
He pledged that House Democrats would move swiftly on January 3, when they are in the majority, to reopen it.
Until the Republican-held Senate agrees to open to the government, though, the partial closure will remain in effect. McConnell has said that he will not hold another vote on a spending bill until Democrats and the White House hash out an agreement.
The White House didn't outline its current request in Sanders' statement, Mulvaney's Fox appearance or in Trump's tweets.
A request for clarification Thursday on whether Trump wants the $5 billion his incoming chief of staff has used as a price point or the $5.7 billion that's in a House-passed bill went unanswered.
In Sanders statement, she said that the president does not want the government shut down but will not sign a bill that doesn't put Americans' safety first, without defining what he'd like to see in proposed legislation.
'The only rational conclusion is that the Democrat party is openly choosing to keep our government closed to protect illegal immigrants rather than the American people. The President does not want the government to remain shut down, but he will not sign a proposal that does not first prioritize our county’s safety and security,' she said.
In addition to turning up the heat on Democrats after letting the fire dwindle while he recovered from a covert trip to Iraq, Trump seemed to be putting new pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to throw out the rules requiring 60 votes and go 'nuclear' so that he can force through his border wall with a simple majority.
'I wish all our options were open. We need folks to talk to us,' Mulvaney said Friday on Fox.
Earlier in the day, he fired a new shot across Democrats' bow claiming that they should feel motivated to end a six-day-old partial government shutdown because most of the out-of-work federal employees are part of their political base
In his tweets on Thursday, which had come after nearly seven hours of silence following Trump early-morning return to the White House, Trump complained that the fillibuster rule was allowing Democrats to keep his nominees in limbo.
'The Democrats OBSTRUCTION of the desperately needed Wall, where they almost all recently agreed it should be built, is exceeded only by their OBSTRUCTION of 350 great people wanting & expecting to come into Government after being delayed for more than two years, a U.S. record!' he charged.
Trump claimed in another message that judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals shared in the blame for the stalemate in Washington that could last for more than two weeks.
'The reason the DACA for Wall deal didn’t get done was that a ridiculous court decision from the 9th Circuit allowed DACA to remain, thereby setting up a Supteme Court case. After ruling, Dems dropped deal - and that’s where we are today, Democrat obstruction of the needed Wall.'
Nine minutes later he sent the message out again with 'Supreme Court' instead of 'Supteme Court' in a correction.
DACA refers to the program that Barack Obama started for illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. It was a bargaining chip in immigration discussions earlier this year but has dissipated as an issue since a 9th Circuit opinion protected it.
President Donald Trump, pictured at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on his way back from Iraq, tweeted upon his return to Washington that his congressional adversaries should give him billions of dollars to fund his U.S.-mexico border wall because the federal employees affected by a partial government shutdown resulting from the funding statement are mostly Democrats
The president tried to set the news agenda by putting pressure on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as the partial shutdown entered its dixth day
Trump hosted Pelosi (left) and Schumer (right) in the Oval Office earlier this month for what turned out to be a public airing of resentments about border security that served to harden positions on both sides of the standoff
Trump claim that most federal employees furloughed in the partial government shutdown are Democrats is borne out by campaign contribution records
Even in the Defense Department, 6 out of 7 dollars donated by employees in 2016 went to Hillary Clinton; the Education Department's lopsided ratio was 332-to-1 against Trump
Earlier in the day, he fired a shot across Democrats' bow in a tweet that claimed they should feel motivated to end the six-day-old partial government shutdown, because most of the out-of-work federal employees are part of their political base.
'Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border. Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking,Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country,' Trump tweeted. 'Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?'
He first praised America's troops in the Middle East, saying the Iraq-based servicemen and women he visited are 'incredible people' who 'know how to win!'
It's unclear what percentage of furloughed federal workers are registered Democrats. But a late 2016 analysis of political donations among self-identified federal government employees, conducted by The Hill, showed that about 95 per cent of their presidential campaign contributions went to Hillary Clinton.
Trump and the first lady made an unannounced trip late on Christmas Day to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq
Last Friday night's partial shutdown, the third since Trump took office in January 2017, came after the White House and congressional Democrats reached an impasse over funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump vowed in Iraq that he would stick to his guns in order to resolve the shutdown in Republicans' favor, telling reporters that he’ll do just about anything to secure funding for his wall.
He declined to say how much he would accept in a deal with congressional Democrats and how long he would wait to get it.
'Whatever it takes. We need a wall. We need safety for our country,' he said.
He said on the ground at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq, 'You have to have a wall, you have to have protection.'
Trump's 'temper tantrum' to blame for shutdown says Schumer.