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Trump vows not to reopen federal government until wall funding is secured

26 December 2018

The US President tweeted that he will be at the White House "all alone" waiting for a deal over border security, noting that the process of arguing about the deal might end up being more costly than the deal itself.

In response to Trump's 'I am all alone (poor me)' tweet, there has been a flurry of counter tweets and memes trolling the President as Christmas celebrations kicked off across the globe.

President Donald Trump appears to be having a sour holiday that includes angry tweets, rants about Democrats while the country endures a partial government shutdown and a phone call with a 7-year-old in which he questioned the existence of Santa Claus.

"I'll call it whatever they want, but it's all the same thing", he told reporters after participating in a holiday video conference with representatives from the five branches of the USA military stationed in Alaska, Bahrain, Guam and Qatar.

Again on Tuesday, Trump tried to place blame for Washington's budget stalemate exclusively on Democrats, portraying their leaders as disingenuous and claiming that they support the notion of a physical barrier along the border and object to building the wall only because it is Trump's idea. He said he had awarded a contract "at a great price" for a 115-mile section of wall in Texas and plans to visit the site in January for "a ground-breaking" ceremony.

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Trump wants $5 billion to build the wall, and that amount would take care of approximately 215 miles - half of which would be replacements, it added.

Trump said Tuesday that the wall as he envisions it would be a fortress that no normal human could breach.

"But many of those workers have said to me and communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall".

The border wall was one of Trump's signature campaign promises, which he said is necessary to ensure border security, and prevent unvetted people from coming across illegally. That means Wednesday is the first day the public could begin to feel the effects of lost government services, Mulvaney said.

Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, said that as long as Trump keeps listening to the House Freedom Caucus and others on the right flank, there is no easy resolution to the impasse.

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It affects about one-fourth of the federal government.

"It's Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos", they said, pointing to problems beyond the shutdown, including the plunging stock market and the president's firing of his defense secretary. "We need border security".

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director and incoming Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said December 23 that the shutdown could potentially continue into the new year.

Progress toward funding the wall has been slow and Trump sees the final days of the GOP's complete control of Congress as his last chance to force the issue. Those who are considered to be essential employees are reporting for duty, but will not get a paycheck for that work until the shutdown is over. The White House Visitor Centre and the National Archives - home to the US Constitution and other historic documents - were also closed.

After speaking to American troops deployed around the world on Christmas, Trump said that he would be open to meeting with congressional leaders, but said he didn't know when the government would be reopened.

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