The Latest: Trump says military to build wall if Dems refuse


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s promised U.S.-Mexico border wall (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump thinks Mexico will pay for the border wall through the new trade deal.

Pelosi told colleagues privately that Trump insisted during an Oval Office meeting that Mexico will pay for the wall “one way or another.”

She told him Mexico isn’t going to pay for it. The president responded that Mexico would pay with money the U.S. will make from the revised North American Free Trade Deal, known as USMCA.

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Pelosi told the president “that’s terrible” and told him she’s going “go out and tell people that you think that Mexico is paying for it with money that should be going into our economy.”

Pelosi’s remarks to Democrats were described by an aide in the room who was not authorized to speak publicly.

— By AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro


4:15 p.m.

After squabbling about a border wall with Democratic leaders in front of reporters, President Donald Trump is now saying that the private part of their meeting was “very friendly.”

He said at a bill signing Tuesday afternoon that after reporters left the morning meeting with Democratic Senate and House leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, they all had a good discussion.

Trump said: “Believe it or not, I think it was a very friendly meeting. You just saw the beginning of it.”

He went on to say that he has liked the two Democrats for a long time.

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The president says he doesn’t mind taking the blame for a government shutdown if the two sides can’t agree on funding for border improvements.


3:05 p.m.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is unloading on President Donald Trump after their Oval Office confrontation over government funding.

Speaking to Democratic lawmakers back at the Capitol, Pelosi boasted on Tuesday that she and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer goaded Trump to “fully own that the shutdown was his.”

Pelosi’s comments were described by an aide who was in the room but was not authorized to speak publicly.

Trump threatened again to shut down part of the government next week if Democrats did not agree to fund his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to the aide, Pelosi said: “It’s like a manhood thing for him. As if manhood could ever be associated with him. This wall thing.”

She adds of the meeting: “It goes to show you: You get into a tickle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

— By AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro


3 p.m.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should get off the “sidelines” and help persuade President Donald Trump to avoid a government shutdown.

The New York Democrat told reporters after a combative Oval Office meeting with Trump on Tuesday that the president should accept a Democratic offer to fund the government before Dec. 21, the deadline for a deal.

If an accord is not reached, many operations of the U.S. government will halt. Trump on Tuesday threatened to let that happen if the Democrats do not agree to provide funding for a southern border wall.

Schumer says McConnell “can no longer stay on the sidelines. He’s got to persuade President Trump.”

McConnell says he hopes the dispute will be resolved without a shutdown.


2:55 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he is hoping for a “smooth ending” to the dispute over government funding that avoids a partial shutdown.

The Kentucky Republican told reporters he hopes the standoff doesn’t run past the Dec. 21 deadline for funding parts of the government. President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to force a shutdown if Congress doesn’t fund his border wall.

McConnell says “we all watched” the combative Oval Office meeting earlier in the day with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

He says, “I’d like to see a smooth ending here. I haven’t given up hope.”

McConnell also said “magic” sometimes happens in the halls of Congress ahead of Christmas, when lawmakers are eager to leave Washington.


12:45 p.m.

A closed-door meeting between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders lasted barely 30 minutes Tuesday after a heated televised opening session “spiraled downwards,” in the words of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Speaking outside the White House after the Oval Office meeting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted Trump over his renewed threat to shut down part of the government over funding of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Schumer said, “This temper tantrum that he seems to throw will not get him his wall.”

Pelosi said Trump does not have the votes in the House to secure the billions he wants to fulfill his promise to build a wall.

Schumer says if Trump doesn’t change course, “He will get no wall and he will get a shutdown.”

Government funding for some agencies is set to expire on Dec. 21, threatening a partial shutdown.


12:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is escalating his shutdown threat over U.S.-Mexico border wall funding at a heated White House meeting with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

Trump said during the open-press session Tuesday that, “If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government.” He says his long-promised wall will be built one way or another.

Government funding for some agencies is set to expire on Dec. 21, threatening a partial shutdown.

Schumer and Pelosi are urging the president to find another solution, with Schumer saying “we shouldn’t shut down the government over a dispute.”

Trump is responding by saying he’s “proud to shut down the government” and says he will “take the mantle.”

Pelosi is also commenting on the meeting’s acrimony, noting “this has spiraled downwards.”


7:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the military will build his promised border wall “if Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country.”

Trump tweets Tuesday that immigration and border patrol agents and the military have done a “FANTASTIC” job securing the border with Mexico. But Trump says “A Great Wall” would be a “far easier & less expensive solution.” He claims Democrats don’t want border security for “strictly political reasons.”

Some government funding expires on Dec. 21 and the risk of shutdown looms if Trump and Democrats Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi can’t reach agreement when they meet Tuesday at the White House.

Trump wants at least $5 billion for the wall in the next funding package. Democrats are offering $1.3 billion for fencing and other border security measures.


12:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is set to meet at the White House with Democratic congressional leaders as the deadline for a partial government shutdown looms.

Trump wants a funding package for the next fiscal year to include at least $5 billion for his proposed border wall with Mexico, an idea Democrats have flatly rejected.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer are to discuss the wall and other issues with Trump on Tuesday.

They have urged Trump to support a bill that includes a half-dozen government funding bills largely agreed upon by lawmakers, along with a separate measure that funds the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Sept. 30. The homeland bill includes about $1.3 billion for fencing and other security measures at the border.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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