(CNSNews.com) – During a joint White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, President Donald Trump said he doubled down on his pledge to shut down the government unless there is funding for the border wall and border security.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted, “I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!’
When asked whether he was saying he “would be willing to shut the government down in September if it does not fully fund $25 billion worth” of the border wall and deliver all of the immigration priorities he listed in his tweet or whether he was leaving some room for negotiation, the president said he “always” leaves for negotiation.
“I’ll always leave room for negotiation, but this has been many years. This isn’t just Trump administration. We’re new. There’s been many years even decades. We have immigration laws. We have border security. We have all sorts of things going on that are—it’s disgraceful.
“We are doing a phenomenal job. We’re setting records, but we have laws that don’t work, so we’re working around those laws, and it’s unfortunate. I have to take my hat off to the Border Patrols for the law enforcement, to ICE, which really has been maligned by the Democrats,” he said.
“The job they do, they go into these MS-13 nests, the nests of bad, bad people, killers in many cases, and they go in there fearless, and they do an incredible job, and they get them out. They either go to jail, or they get out of the country, so I wanna just take my hat off to ICE and the brave people that have really been maligned by the Democrats,” the president added.
He stressed the need for border security, saying, “Border security includes the wall, but it includes many other things. We have to end the lottery. We have to end the chain. The chain is like a disaster. You bring one person in, you end up with 32 people.”
“We have to end these horrible catch and release principles where you catch somebody, you take their name and you release them. You don’t even know who they are, and then they’re supposed to come back to a court case where they want us to hire thousands of judges. The whole thing is ridiculous, and we have to change our laws, and we do that through Congress, so I would certainly be willing to close it down to get it done,” Trump added.
“As you know, we are already approving things in various bills, including we’re going to be taking care of the military. We always put the military and law enforcement very high, but I would be certainly willing to consider a shutdown if we don’t get proper border security,” he said.
Trump pointed out that border security was a factor in the Italian prime minister’s election win and the wins of others in Italy as well as Trump’s election win.
When asked if the $25 billion for the wall was a red line for Trump, the president said, “I have no red line, unless President Obama. I just want great border security.”