Graham says Trump isn’t giving in on southern border wall

Donald Trump

Trump has tried various angles to pressure Democratic negotiators, but they have not visibly budged from an offer to support some border security spending - the figure of $1.3 billion has been floated - but not the $5.7 billion he wants for a wall.

Trump sent a series of Twitter messages on the shutdown Sunday morning, including one that returned to an original theme of his 2016 presidential campaign: that many immigrants are criminals.

The impasse has paralyzed Washington - its impact felt increasingly around the country - with the president refusing to sign off on budgets for swaths of government departments unrelated to the dispute.

Roughly 800,000 federal workers did not receive paychecks that would have gone out on Friday.

The partial government shutdown has now become the longest in U.S. history.

Later on Saturday, in a telephone interview with Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro, the president said if the Democrats "don't come to their senses" he would declare a national emergency to free up money for his wall without congressional approval. The only option, Graham tweeted, was for Trump to "declare a national emergency NOW".

"If they can't do it".

"President Obama declared [a national emergency] over Swine Flu, for Pete's sake. I have the absolute right".

Until Friday, Trump had suggested numerous times that he was getting closer to taking the controversial decision.

Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, encouraging Trump on Friday to declare a national emergency "now".

Gingrich lamented the polarization that far trumps that of when he was House Speaker during former President Bill Clinton's administration.

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Opponents say such a unilateral presidential move would be constitutional overreach and set a unsafe precedent.

Trump has tried on a number of occasions to blame Democrats for the government shutdown, such as when he tweeted in December that "Senator Mitch McConnell should fight for the Wall and Border Security as hard as he fought for anything".

A large majority of Americans blame President Donald Trump for the recording-breaking 22-day partial government shutdown, according to two polls released Sunday. "The Fakes always like talking Chaos, there is NONE".

He tweeted: "I do have a plan on the Shutdown".

"But to understand that plan you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised. a Wall at the Southern Border".

Democrats and the president remain at loggerheads. "Many Hispanics will be coming over to the Republican side, watch!" Most also reject the President's assertion that there is an illegal-immigration crisis on the southern border. The subset who feels that way, however, amounts to only 31% of United States adults. Only in recent days has he begun describing the problem as "humanitarian".

In the Democrats' weekly address, Representative Scott Peters, who represents a district in San Diego County, California, outlined border security measures such as radar and surveillance via drones, and said "let's re-open the government and talk about these ideas".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY have refused to meet that demand, instead offering a far smaller sum to shore up border security and asking the President to reopen the government now and negotiate on border security later.

Mr Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he had urged the president on Sunday to temporarily reopen government to get negotiations started again.

Trump also shared on Saturday that should the Democrats change their mind about funding the border wall, the shutdown could end in a matter of minutes.

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