Trump defends his Syria pullout while on surprise visit to Iraq

Trump defends his Syria pullout while on surprise visit to Iraq

"I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck", Trump said.

Erwin admits that while the employees they represent might have a range of opinions about Trump's proposed border wall, there appears to be unanimity that the government should not be shut down because of it.

"We want border security, and there are many other things we want aside from the wall, but the wall is a big part of it", Art Del Cueto, vice president of border patrol union, tells TIME.

Following weeks of failed talks between Trump and congressional leaders, parts of the USA government shut down on Saturday, affecting about 800,000 employees of the Departments of Homeland Security, Transportation and other agencies.

"Whatever it takes", Trump said.

Trump made these remarks while taking questions from reporters during a briefing with U.S. military leaders shortly after landing in Iraq.

Trump reaffirmed his claim on Twitter Monday, December 24, that he had approved a contract for the construction of 115 miles (185 kilometers) of wall in Texas, although the White House has not offered any details on the project. "It's stressful for staff, it's stressful for inmates, and the government shutdown and not knowing if you're going to get a paycheck in a couple of weeks is an unneeded stress", he said. We're gonna have safety.

In a nod to the political stakes he's facing, the president said he wants the wall by "election time" in 2020.

A deal to fund shuttered government departments still seemed out of reach Wednesday, the fifth day of the partial shutdown.

"Democrats can come out and say they supported billions for fencing, but when push comes to shove, and this is something that will get passed into law, they suddenly back off", Chmielenski said.

Several hundred thousand USA government employees across numerous agencies are working without pay, while others have been sent hom on furlough. After a weekend and two holiday days for federal employees, Wednesday was the first regularly scheduled workday affected by the shutdown. "The only one that doesn't want the wall are the Democrats", he added.

The president doubled down on his belief that Democrats are not supporting funds to build a border wall exclusively because he made the issue a central theme of his campaign and agenda in the White House. As previous presidents have done, Mr Trump signed an executive order designating Monday a federal holiday, so weekday employees weren't required to work.

Nancy Pelosi, who takes over next month as House speaker, and Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Republican-led Senate, complained that White House aides were giving inconsistent messages on what Trump would accept to restart the government. Many are on the job but must wait until after the shutdown to be paid again.

"It's a disgrace, what's happening in this country", Trump said. "(I) thought it would be wrong for me to be with my family.

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