Milstead, after White House event, says wall needed for border 'crisis'

Pauline Gross
January 14, 2019

The US government shutdown over President Donald Trump's demand for border wall funding became the longest in the modern era as it stretched into its 22nd day Saturday with no end in sight.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci told the West Block's Mercedes Stephenson that the three-week shutdown is a grudge match symbolizing the bigger ideological fight between Republicans and Democrats, but warned the country will face serious economic harm if it doesn't end soon.

President Donald Trump denied "chaos" in the White House amid the ongoing government shutdown, claiming on Saturday that there's "almost nobody in the W.H. but me".

"Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option - and I think we are nearly there - I would urge them to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug, see if we can get a deal", Mr Graham said on Fox News Sunday. "If we can't at the end of three weeks, all bets are off. See if he can do it by himself through the emergency powers", Graham said.

Correspondents say Democrats would mount an immediate legal challenge if Mr Trump made such a move. He has said several times since he first mentioned the idea in public earlier this month that he prefers to try to reach a deal with Congress. Seven in 10 Republicans say the situation at the border is a crisis and two-thirds believe a wall would fix it, while about three-quarters of Democrats say there is no crisis, and just 4% feel that there is one that a wall would help improve.

Democrats oppose that step but may be unable to stop it and many Republicans are wary too.

Although the president is now frustrated with the inaction of the Democrats, he does think this standstill could help Republicans in 2020. I think the legislative route is the best way to go.

Senator Chris Coons, called Mr Graham's idea to reopen the government a "great place to start". He said the president had accepted a border security package that included money for a wall, then changed his mind.

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The increase in support is sharpest among Republicans, whose backing for Trump's long-standing campaign promise jumped 16 points in the past year, from 71 per cent to 87 per cent.

"I want to give them the chance to see if they can act responsibly", he told Fox in an interview late last Saturday. "And so in order to survive, he is taking positions and doing things that you and I would think make no sense at all, and don't fit everything we know about him as a person, but it fits what he thinks he needs to do in order to survive". Most came through our Southern Border.

A later tweet said damage from "Drugs, Crime and so much that is bad" were worse for the U.S. than the government shutdown.

The New York Times said it was not clear if the investigation to determine whether Mr Trump was deliberately working for Russian Federation or had unintentionally been influenced by Moscow was still being pursued.

"How do you negotiate with the speaker of the house when she tells you even if you open up the government, we are not going to give you but $1 for the wall?"

In a sign that Trump may be losing the confidence of a key segment of his base, his disapproval rating among whites without a college degree has climbed to 47 percent, while just 45 percent approve.

Airport spokesman Greg Chin said the decision to close some parts was a "precautionary measure to optimise staffing" during peak times, when large numbers of cruise-line passengers leave the city. Christopher Coons, D-Del., questioned on "Fox News Sunday" why McConnell has not taken a more active role.

Other reports by GizPress

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