President Donald Trump acknowledged Monday that he’d rejected the possibility of reopening the government before securing funding for his desired border wall, an idea most recently pitched by his ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
“Well, that was a suggestion that Lindsey made, but I did reject it, yes,” he told reporters outside the White House. “I’m not interested. I want to get it solved. I don’t want to just delay it. I want to get it solved.”
He was referring to comments Graham, a recently outspoken ally of the President, made Sunday regarding the now-record-breaking shutdown.
“I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “See if we can get a deal. If we can’t at the end of three weeks, all bets are off. See if he can do it by himself through the emergency powers.”
Trump has previously said that he feels he needs the leverage of the government shutdown in order to force Democrats to the table to negotiate funds for his desired border wall. Democratic congressional leadership have insisted that Trump should allow the government be reopened.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Wednesday, after Trump walked out of a meeting with Democrats, that Trump had told him and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “If I open up the government, you won’t do what I want.”
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
Trump on reopening the government before finding a resolution to wall funding: "Well, that was a suggestion that Lindsey made, but I did reject it, yes. I'm not interested. I want to get it solved. I don't want to just delay it. I want to get it solved." pic.twitter.com/RSJNc34afo
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 14, 2019