President Donald Trump confirmed on Friday that he told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders that he will not back down on the border wall, even if that means leaving the government shut down for months or even a year.
"I did say that. Absolutely I said that,” Trump said. “I don't think it will, but I'm prepared, and I think that I can speak for Republicans in the House and Republicans in the Senate they feel very strongly about having a safe country.”
Watch the video below:
Some in the media reacted in shock.
Trump’s remarks to Democrats occurred during immigration negotiations on Friday aimed at reopening the government. While Trump said the talks were “productive,” Democrats suggested little progress was made.
When reporters asked him if he was “proud” of the government shutdown, he responded defiantly.
“I am very proud of doing what I am doing,” Trump said. “I don’t call it a shutdown. I call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and safety of our country.”
Before Trump answered questions, Vice President Mike Pence said Republicans want to solve the illegal immigration problem, not just reopen the government.
“Our aim will be to find a solution. Not just simply to end the government shutdown, but to provide funding to end the crisis at our southern border...and to build a wall,” Pence said.
Watch his remarks:
Should Trump stand firm on the border wall?