Border wall: Trump backs away from national emergency

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Mr Trump said yesterday the "easy solution" would be to call a national emergency before adding he wanted Congress to resolve the issue.

As the shutdown drags into a fourth week, each side has blamed the other.

He said Trump told him, "Let's make a deal, then open up the government".

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday publicly rejected a push by Senate Republican moderates to entice Democrats with a deal that would protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation in addition to funding a border wall.

Over the last few days, President Donald Trump has attempted to reframe his government shutdown, backtracking on his initial claims of ownership and claiming he has been sitting in the White House waiting for congressional democrats to come to him.

Asked by Fox News why he did not immediately declare a national emergency to secure the funds without congressional approval, Mr Trump said he wanted to give opposition Democratic lawmakers more time to strike a deal. Lawmakers adjourned for the weekend but will return to Washington on Monday.

Trump tweeted that "to understand" his plan, "you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people".

As Friday ticked into Saturday, the shutdown passed the 21-day mark set when Bill Clinton faced a hostile Republican Congress in 1995 and 1996. That ended when congressional Republicans agreed to a short-term funding bill for closed agencies that was later extended.

The partial shutdown was triggered after a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government expired December 21.

He was one of 19 law enforcers, faith leaders and elected officials invited to a White House meeting Friday to discuss border security with President Donald Trump, who took the opportunity to attack Democratic refusal to fund a wall.

Durbin said the shutdown will end "when the Senate Republicans say, 'We've had enough. I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written", Trump told Fox News's Jeanine Pirro after the New York Times reported that law enforcement officials in 2017 began investigating whether Trump had been working on behalf of Russian Federation against American interests.

'And if they don't do it, if they don't come to their senses, you know what I'll do? "I think he's got to do it".

"Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we are nearly there, I would urge them to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug (to) see if we can get a deal", Graham said on "Fox News Sunday".

In his nationally televised address he delivered from the Oval Office on Tuesday, Trump asserted that there is a humanitarian and security crisis at the border because of illegal immigration.

Democrats in Congress insist Republicans step in and force Trump's hand.

United States media report the White House is considering diverting some of the $13.9 billion allocated past year by Congress for disaster relief in such areas as Puerto Rico, Texas and California to pay for the wall.

Americans are increasingly bullish on a border wall but are souring on the government showdown, according to two new polls out Sunday from CNN and the Washington Post.

Nine of the 15 Cabinet-level departments have not been funded, including agriculture, homeland security, state, transportation, interior and justice.

He added: "If you ask the folks in Russian Federation, I've been tougher on Russian Federation than anybody else, any other. probably any other president, period, but certainly the last three or four presidents".

"They're the ones that are holding it up", he said during a telephone interview with Fox News on Saturday night.

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