Trump threatens to shut down border as government funding stalemate drags on

President Trump threatens to close border with Mexico as standoff over wall continues

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Trump warned Friday that if Democrats do not agree to his demands to fund a wall on the southern border, he will "close the southern border entirely" and cut aid to Central American countries - while pulling back on trade with Mexico.

A funding bill with the $5 billion Trump wants for the border wall has already passed through the House.

With "non-essential" operations at numerous agencies shut down for lack of funding and Congress adjourned until next week, Trump was in the White House firing off angry tweets. No moves were made to end the continuing impasse, which has left hundreds of thousands of federal workers either on unpaid leave or not knowing when they'll be paid.

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on "Fox & Friends" that Trump is also nixing his plans for New Year's because of the shutdown.

The president then reiterated his threat to close the border if wall funding isn't secured, and added that his administration would also cut off foreign aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador for taking money from the USA while not preventing its citizens from migrating to America in caravans.

'Democrats are united against the President's immoral, ineffective and expensive wall - the wall that he specifically promised that Mexico would pay for, ' said spokesman Drew Hammill.

The House and the Senate convened for just minutes on Thursday before gaveling closed until next week.

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday, 47 per cent of Americans hold Trump responsible for the shutdown, while 33 per cent blame Democrats in Congress.

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Despite the president's change of plans to ring in the new year from the White House, Taylor said he still plans to parade the rat around Mar-a-Lago and South Florida, by both land and sea.

Then, members of the Democrat-run House and the Republican-led Senate will have to get to work on figuring out how to fund the remaining portions of the federal government that weren't covered by those bills.

Opponents - especially in the Democratic party but also some in Trump's Republican party - say that a physical wall is impractical and that the idea is being used as a political tool to whip up xenophobia in Trump's right-wing voter base.

He said Pelosi will soon face a vote on becoming House Speaker and she does not want to be seen as caving to Trump's demands.

"We are always seeking a good relationship with the United States".

Trump appeared no closer to securing money for his signature border wall, which he vowed during the campaign that he would make Mexico pay for.

As a result, he said, "we will be cutting off all aid" to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, impoverished, often unsafe countries where American assistance aims to boost democracy, human rights, education and security.

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