House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer forcefully rebutted the President in a speech of their own Tuesday where Pelosi accused Trump of "holding the American people hostage" to his demands. Trump has signaled he would refuse to sign any spending bills that didn't include $5.7 billion for the border wall. "If this doesn't work out, I probably will do it, I would nearly say definitely", Mr. Trump told reporters, adding later, "If we don't make a deal, I would say 100 percent but I don't want to say 100 percent". Efrén Olivares of the Texas Civil Rights Project said Trump was stoking racism, xenophobia and fears about a crime epidemic that doesn't exist.
Officials told Trump the Army Corps could put up 315 miles of 30-foot, bollard-style barrier in 18 months, according to NBC, which cited sources.
Meadows, who speaks frequently with Trump, sees the emergency declaration as the "last tool" the president has.
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Trump is growing more frustrated as the shutdown drags on and is complaining that his aides are not offering him an exit strategy.
According to the Associated Press, the White House asked the Army Corps of Engineers to examine its budget, including $13.9 billion in emergency funds, to determine how much money it could spend to help build the wall Trump promised his supporters. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.
"If there's a list of top 10 priorities on where to get money from, that doesn't make the top 10 list", Meadows said. Efforts at negotiating a broader immigration deal involving immigrants brought to the country illegally as children collapsed with little progress.
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During his Thursday trip, Trump insisted he was "winning" the shutdown fight and criticized Democrats for asserting he was manufacturing a sense of crisis in order to declare an emergency.
That's the same length of time as the 21-day shutdown that stretched from December 1995 to January 1996 as a result of a clash between President Bill Clinton and the GOP Congress.
Trump has started to claim that he never said during his election campaign that Mexico would directly pay for the wall: "Obviously, I never said this, and I never meant they're going to write out a check", the president told reporters at the White House on Thursday.
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