Trump threatens to shutdown U.S. border with Mexico

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"To be honest, it's not a wall", Kelly told the Los Angeles Times. Schumer told Pence last weekend that Democrats won't consider any offer without a public endorsement by Trump because the president has changed his position so often, Goodman said.

In his almost two years in office, Mr Trump has fired or forced out six Cabinet officials, shuffled two others into different posts and seen the most high-profile woman in his administration announce her resignation.

"The President still says "wall" - oftentimes frankly he'll say "barrier" or "fencing", now he's tended toward steel slats".

"Democrats have offered Republicans three options to re-open government that all include funding for strong, sensible, and effective border security - but not the President's immoral, ineffective and expensive wall".

The threat yet again upped the ante in a political row that has led to a partial shutdown of the United States government and seems set to dominate the start to the third year of Trump's presidency.

Asked about Trump's latest tweets, López Obrador told reporters Friday: "We have acted prudently and cautiously, and we have not expressed an opinion on this theme, because this is an internal matter of the USA government and we prefer to abstain" from making a statement.

In the early months of his campaign, he attacked rival Jeb Bush for calling his proposal a "fence". They were also notable given Trump's insistence for most of his term that the border would have a wall, not the "steel slat barrier" he has pivoted toward in the past few weeks.

"But only saying "wall or no wall" is being very disingenuous and turning a complete blind eye to what is a crisis at the border".

There has been little direct contact between the sides during the stalemate, and Mr Trump did not ask Republicans, who hold a monopoly on power in Washington until January 3, to keep Congress in session. The White House has dropped its request further to $2.5 billion, but Democrats are holding the line against funding the wall. She says of the negotiations: "It is with them".

The partial USA government shutdown will nearly certainly be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year.

While Pelosi sips on festive cocktails served in coconut-cups, her staff are issuing press statements about how the Democrats will swiftly end the Trump Shutdown.

Trump has been excoriated by opposition Democrats, who oppose his demand for $5 billion in border wall funding, after he blamed them for the deaths of two Guatemalan children in U.S. custody in a tweet on Saturday.

"For the White House to try and blame anyone but the president for this shutdown doesn't pass the laugh test", said Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer. Forty-seven percent of adults hold Trump responsible, according to the 21-25 December poll, conducted mostly after the shutdown began.

At a time when most of Congress has left town for the holidays despite the budget impasse, Trump has emphasized his decision to cancel a planned vacation at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and remain in Washington.

Congressional leaders remained out of town, while Trump returned to Washington early Thursday from an unannounced visit to United States troops in Iraq.

"Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border ..." one of Trump's four tweets about the border said in part. "Now we have to do it the hard way, with a Shutdown". His comments on Twitter came as his Homeland Security secretary met with medical professionals and ordered policy changes meant to better protect children detained at the border.

The latest overtures in the wake of the midterm elections, which brought about sweeping Democratic gains and the end of Republican control of Congress, stand in stark contrast to the historical behavior of modern presidents, who have moved at least briefly toward the political center after being humbled at the ballot box.

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