Donald Trump Demands Wall for Christmas During Shutdown

A woman holds a sign expressing Latino support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at his campaign rally at the Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa

A woman holds a sign expressing Latino support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at his campaign rally at the Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa

Trump also groused that Democrats voted for border security in the past but claimed they are now against it now that he supports it, likening it to their criticism of former FBI Director James Comey before he fired him.

On Christmas Eve, President Trump and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, fielded phone calls from children who had called the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to check on Santa Claus's progress.

Wednesday brings the first full business day after several government departments and agencies closed up over the weekend due to a budgetary stalemate between President Donald Trump and Congress.

"I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they'd like to call it", Trump said, suggesting that a change in semantics might allow for a breakthrough.

Trump made these remarks while taking questions from reporters during a briefing with United States military leaders shortly after landing in Iraq. The Trump administration has rejected predictions by some of a recession, saying the economy is still strong and Wall Street is over reacting.

High on the laundry list was the Democrats, whom he blamed for a partial government shutdown which dragged into its 4th day - paralyzing key federal services such as national parks - with no end in sight. "It's a 2,000-mile border but much of it has mountain and region where you can't get across", Trump said.

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Two top Democrat in the Republican-led Senate, complained that White House aides were giving inconsistent messages on what Trump would accept to restart the government. They said they just want their jobs back. Those who are considered to be essential employees are reporting for duty, but will not get a paycheck for that work until the shutdown is over. The government funding for about a quarter of the federal government - including the Treasury, Homeland Security and Interior Departments - lapsed late December 21. Mr. Schumer told reporters after a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence, "If you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall".

Trump acknowledged the impasse has no foreseeable end date, telling reporters he couldn't say when the government would fully reopen.

President Trump may deserve all the heat he's getting for his bumbling role in triggering a government shutdown over border-wall funding, but Democrats - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, in particular - are no angels. Rather, it means those workers need to be back on the job Wednesday - with no exceptions.

"It's a disgrace, what's happening in our country", Trump said. As previous presidents have done, Mr Trump signed an executive order designating Monday a federal holiday, so weekday employees weren't required to work.

"And we've renovated a massive amount of wall and in addition to that - and I think ever, very importantly -we've built a lot of new wall, so it's all being built", he explained.

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