Trump pushes for border wall money as top lawmakers receive briefing

A sign declares the National Archive is closed due to a partial federal government shutdown in Washington DC

A sign declares the National Archive is closed due to a partial federal government shutdown in Washington DC

Donald Trump and top congressional leaders failed to resolve a partial government shutdown that has stretched well into a second week as the president refused to back off from his demands for billions of dollars for a long-promised wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico.

The president said his Homeland Security officials will "make a plea" for the border wall during a briefing for congressional leaders later Wednesday at the White House.

Democrats said they would proceed with plans to hold votes on Thursday, when they formally take control of the U.S. House of Representatives from Trump's fellow Republicans, on legislation that would end the shutdown without providing money for a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border that Trump sought. NBC's Savannah Guthrie asked Pelosi in an interview slated to air in full Thursday.

Instead, McCarthy said, Democrats wanted to push their proposed spending bill without funding for the president's proposed border wall. "We're talking about border security".

McCarthy says Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer interrupted multiple times and that the president now wants them to return on Friday, after the congressional leadership races. "Nothing for the wall".

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump's partial government shutdown over his border wall closed in on the two-week mark and a brand-new Congress on Wednesday with no end in sight.

The shutdown began after Trump rejected bipartisan congressional efforts to fund many operations through February 8, insisting that any deal must contain money for the construction of a border wall.

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The National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned more "highly dangerous" attempts by migrants to reach the United Kingdom are "likely". Chris Hogben, from the NCA, said its work with French colleagues had resulted in dozens of attempted crossings being prevented.

Trump contended the Democrats see the shutdown fight as "an election point" as he celebrated his own first two years in office. "Just the first sign of things to come in our new Democratic Majority committed to working #ForThePeople".

Trump made his case ahead of the afternoon session with Democratic and Republican leaders about the migrants arriving at the border in recent days.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and top House Republicans Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Steve Scalise, R-La., attended the meeting in the high-security enclave of the White House, which typically is used to handle sensitive information. Once that happens, their hope is that the tide will turn against Trump and he'll be pressured to give up on the wall funding. He has asked lawmakers back to the White House on Friday to talk some more. Funding for Trump's pet project, a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, has been the sticking point in passing budgets. Since becoming president, though, he has shifted this promise, saying the money must come from USA taxpayers. Democrats are counting on the media to back them up on the shutdown, as they always do. "He could not give a good answer".

The President and Democrats are at odds over funding for a border wall.

As of Wednesday, Trump has made it clear he won't accept the Democrats' offer to re-open the government. "So imaginative! The problem is, without a Wall there can be no real Border Security".

CNN's Phil Mattingly also reported that Trump did not want to look foolish and said so when Schumer pressed him for a third time for a reason. Major agencies like the Pentagon and the Health and Human Services Department have already been funded through the end of the fiscal year September 30, thanks to spending bills passed by Congress earlier last year. Since the partial shutdown began on December 22, though, Trump has sought to brand it the "Schumer Shutdown".

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