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    The border wall separating the United States and Mexico is pictured in San Ysidro, California.

    Trump: US Needs Wall on Border to Stop Drugs, Human Trafficking, Gang Members

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    On Thursday morning the US president returned to the White House after a surprise visit to Iraq. During the trip to meet American troops stationed there, Donald Trump told reporters that the US federal government shutdown would last for as long as it takes to reach a deal with Democratic lawmakers on funding for the border wall.

    The US president and First Lady Melania Trump visited US troops in Iraq late at night on Christmas. On 27 December, Donald Trump returned to Washington and wrote on his Twitter page: "One thing is certain, we have incredible people representing our Country".

    READ MORE: Trumps' 'Awkward' Kiss, Melania's Boots Steal the Show During Iraq Visit

    The president also brought up the very sensitive issue of funding for the wall on the US-Mexico border.

    A dispute on funding for the border wall between Trump and Democrat lawmakers in the Senate has resulted in a partial US government shutdown, which began on Saturday.

    On Friday, the Senate was not able to secure the 60 votes needed to pass the House of Representatives’ bill that included the $5.7 billion Trump sought for the southern border wall.

    Congress will reconvene on Thursday afternoon to negotiate a deal on a spending bill.

    "Whatever it takes. We need a wall. We need safety for our country," Trump said during his visit to Iraq to meet US troopsas quoted by a White House press pool report. "We have terrorists coming in through the southern border."

    READ MORE: Using Children as Shields on US-Mexico Border is Not Something Media Wants to Shine a Light On — Activist

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    United States, government shutdown, funding, border wall, Democrats, Donald Trump, Mexico, Iraq
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