WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he welcomes a government shutdown if congressional leaders do not agree to a deal to keep the government open later this week.
“I’d love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of,” he said during a roundtable with legislators and law enforcement officials on immigration, adding that Democrats need to agree to his demands for immigration restrictions.
“It’s worth it for our country,” he said. “If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don’t want safety, and — unrelated but still related — they don’t want to take care of military, then shut it down. We’ll go with another shutdown.
Lawmakers in both parties have said they hope to avoid another government shutdown like the one that occurred after talks broke down last month. Without an agreement to extend funding, the government would shut down Friday.
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), who was attending the roundtable, told Trump: “We don’t need a government shutdown over this. I think both sides have learned that the shutdown was bad.” She added that she believes there is bipartisan support for a deal.
“Barbara, we are not getting the support of the Democrats. I mean, you can say what you want. We are not getting the support of the Democrats,” Trump said in response. “They are not supporting us.”
Among Trump’s demands is his signature campaign promise: a border wall, which Democrats, as well as some Republicans, have continually said is a non-starter.
“We need the wall. We’re going to get the wall,” he said Tuesday.
Later Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clarified Trump’s comments, saying that he wants Democrats “to do their jobs.”
“We are not advocating for the shutdown,” she said.
On Monday, Trump blamed Democrats for not coming up with a legislative solution for so-called Dreamers. In a tweet, he claimed that Democrats “seem not to care about DACA,” referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump ended.
This post has been updated with comment from Sanders.