President Donald Trump on Saturday said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is doing the bidding of extremists.
“She’s being controlled by the radical left, which is a problem, and you know she’s under total control of the radical left. I think that’s a very bad thing for her, and I think it’s a very bad thing for the Democrats,” Trump said.
The president spoke to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before he left for Dover Air Force Base to meet the families of four service members killed in Syria.
Trump said meeting the families of those who gave their lives in the cause of freedom is “the toughest thing I have to do. When I’m going to meet relatives of some of our great, great heroes that have fallen, I think it might be the toughest thing I have to do as president.”
Moments ago, President Trump visited Dover Air Force Base to pay respects to the four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in Syria this week.
— CNN (@CNN) January 19, 2019
One reporter asked Trump whether he was ready to compromise with Pelosi and whether the dispute between them had become personal. The president has been requesting $5.7 billion for the border wall. Pelosi and other congressional Democrats are opposed to funding the project. Failure to reach an agreement triggered the ongoing partial government shutdown.
Trump said that “whether it’s personal or not, it’s not personal for me.”
He said he hoped that after his Saturday message to the American people, the California Democrat would change her stance.
“Well I hope that Speaker Pelosi can come along and realize what everybody knows, I mean, no matter who it is, they know that walls work,” Trump said. “And we need walls.
“Everybody knows that walls work. You look at different places, they put up a wall, no problems. You look at San Antonio, you look at so many different places. They go from one of the most unsafe cities in the country to one of the safest cities immediately, immediately. It works, we have to put them up, and we will put them up. We’ve got to.”
One reporter asked the president if he had a message for federal workers impacted by the government shutdown.
“I think we’re making a lot of progress,” he said. “You know, we’re building wall as we speak. Nobody covers that. And I understand that. But we’re building wall as we speak. We’re going to continue.
“This country cannot be secure. You have human traffickers, you have criminals of all kinds, you have drug pushers and drug smugglers, like at a level that people haven’t seen. Over the last five or six years, it’s gotten to a point, nobody’s seen anything like it. The Border Patrol has done an incredible job, but we need the help and the backup of the wall.”
Trump noted that more caravans of migrants are headed to the U.S.-Mexico border.
“If we had a wall, we wouldn’t have a problem. But we don’t, we have too many open areas,” he said. “The walls that we’ve fixed and the walls that we’ve built hold beautifully. But we have a lot of open areas, and that’s too bad. Now the previous caravans we’ve stopped. They’re right now in Tijuana. I don’t know what they’re doing in Tijuana, but they’re not in our country, that I can tell you.”
Trump received support from an unlikely quarter Friday when Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican who has long criticized Trump, said Pelosi’s position opposing Trump’s wall is wrong.
“You (Pelosi) and your fellow Democrats have voted for over 600 miles of border fence in the past, why won’t you vote for another few miles now?” Romney said, according to Fox News. “I don’t understand their position, I really don’t.”
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