US President Donald Trump has announced the start of talks with the Democratic Party over border wall funding after the temporary end to the month-long partial government shutdown.
"Will not be easy to make a deal, both parties very dug in," he said on Saturday. "The case for national security has been greatly enhanced by what has been happening at the border and through dialogue. We will build the wall!"
21 days goes very quickly. Negotiations with Democrats will start immediately. Will not be easy to make a deal, both parties very dug in. The case for National Security has been greatly enhanced by what has been happening at the Border & through dialogue. We will build the Wall!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 26 января 2019 г.
Trump has been under increasing political pressure ever since he ordered the closure of a quarter of US government agencies on 22 December, after Democratic lawmakers, who have a majority in the lower chamber of Congress, flatly rejected to meet his request for $5.7 billion in funding for a physical barrier on the US southern border.
The shutdown lead to over 400,000 federal employees being left without pay and another 350,000 furloughed — something that prompted Donald Trump to sign a bill ensuring that they would get paid for lost wages.
He re-opened the government on Friday, which some observers deemed a concession to the Democrats. The president insisted, however, that this was a temporary measure, and vowed to repeat the shutdown in 21 days if the two parties are unable to strike a deal. He also hinted at a "powerful alternative" that he "did not want to use this time" — an apparent reference to the declaration of national emergency that would enable him to order US troops to build the long-promised border wall.
Trump has repeatedly called for the construction of a physical barrier — a wall or a see-through fence — in sensitive sections of the US-Mexico border, saying that it would help the country tackle problems stemming from undocumented immigration, such as drug smuggling and human trafficking.
Roger Stone Indictment
His political opponents from the left argue that his demands for a wall — as well as the government shutdown — were effectively an attempt to mobilise support from conservative voters. Critics also point out that Trump's decision to end the shutdown came, not coincidentally, shortly after his former long-time adviser, Roger Stone, had been arrested as part of the Russia probe on charges of obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress.
Stone dismissed the accusations as "politically motivated" and said he would not testify against the president, who also leapt to his defence.
If Roger Stone was indicted for lying to Congress, what about the lying done by Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Lisa Page & lover, Baker and soooo many others? What about Hillary to FBI and her 33,000 deleted Emails? What about Lisa & Peter’s deleted texts & Wiener’s laptop? Much more!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 26 января 2019 г.