Published: Fri, February 01, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump Tells N.Y. Times: Border Wall Talks A ‘Waste Of Time’

Trump Tells N.Y. Times: Border Wall Talks A ‘Waste Of Time’

"She's playing games", the president told reporters at the White House.

Trump accused Pelosi of "playing games", adding that if Democrats don't "give us a wall, it doesn't work". "Let them have that discussion".

"Winning is good", Pelosi quipped to a packed House, in a boast more characteristic of her Republican rival.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's reaction to President Donald Trump's Twitter habit is a lot different than her predecessor's.

Referring to another migrant caravan headed to the US from Honduras, Mr. Trump said Mrs. Pelosi should be grateful for the current walls in some regions along the border, such as San Diego. It would freeze the number of border patrol agents and block any wall construction in wildlife refuges along the border. Asked for thoughts on Jeffries' comments, Pelosi pointed to vehicle barriers, also known as Normandy fencing, now stretching across hundreds of miles along the border. Surveys also show that a majority does not want an expanded wall. "If there's no wall, it doesn't work", he said. "However, if they have some suggestions about certain localities where technology, some infrastructure as I said about the ports of entry - we might need more ports of entry, some roads - that's part of the negotiation". But he said if Pelosi, Trump and party leaders "would let us, the appropriators, do our job, we could do this". "And I said, 'I hope you mean that because I don't like this bill". "Wall is already being built, I don't expect much help!" he added. "I've set the stage for doing what I'm going to do", Trump said in a sweeping interview with The New York Times' Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman. Pelosi's hard-line move could push the president further in that direction.

The high-stakes talks are taking place against the backdrop of another possible shutdown in mid-February - an outcome Trump's Republican allies in the Senate are especially eager to avoid.

Without a border security accord, lawmakers could avert another shutdown by once again temporarily financing dozens of federal agencies, perhaps for months.

"Wall is being built!" Even Trump's Republican allies acknowledge he may only get a fraction of it.

He gave lawmakers three weeks to reach an agreement on a long-term government funding plan that he insists must include border wall funding.

Trump has been unpredictable in the shutdown debate, mixing softer rhetoric about a multifaceted approach to border security with campaign-style bluster about the wall. Then, a top Democrat, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., acknowledged that "everything is on the table", including the border barriers demanded by Trump.

Lawmakers from both parties met at the Capitol to open negotiations aimed at resolving the wall standoff that led to a 35-day partial government shutdown - the longest in United States history - over Trump's insistence on $5.7 billion in wall funding.

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