Trump Affirms He’ll Shut Down Gov Over Wall: ‘Chances Are Probably Very Good’

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the signing ceremony for the First Step Act and the Juvenile Justice Reform Act in the Oval Office of the White House December 21, 2018 in Was... WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the signing ceremony for the First Step Act and the Juvenile Justice Reform Act in the Oval Office of the White House December 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Trump administration is battling on multiple fronts with major developments on U.S. foreign policy in Syria, the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, a falling stock market, and a potential governmental shutdown at midnight. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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December 21, 2018 1:50 p.m.

Speaking from the Oval Office on Friday, President Donald Trump affirmed that the odds he will shut down the government over his insistence that Congress appropriate $5 billion for a border wall are “probably very good.”

“There is a very good chance it won’t get passed” in the Senate, Trump said, referring to the government funding bill that includes wall funds. 

The President has long said that he would be willing to shut down the government over border wall funding, a point Democrats have hammered home in recent days.

Wall funding has little chance of passing the Senate, but Trump’s insistence on the funds has led to a gridlocked Capitol Hill careening toward a partial government shutdown on Friday night.

Trump has tried to shift blame to Democrats for the impending shutdown, and did so again Friday from the Oval Office: “It’s really up to the Democrats — totally up to the Democrats as to whether we have a shutdown,” he said.

He also repeated numerous falsehoods in his argument for a wall, such as one particularly startling — and wildly untrue — claim that the United States spends “$285 billion a year on illegal immigration.”

Trump also falsely claimed that former President Ronald Reagan “tried to get a wall, and he fought for a long time, during his entire term, and he was never able to get a wall.” Reagan campaigned against erecting a border wall, and in fact established a path to attain green cards for millions by signing the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. That law included funding for increased border enforcement, but not for wall construction.

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