President Trump reportedly threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not send him a bill approving $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of a looming deadline that could prompt a partial government shutdown.
During an interview with Politico, just nine days before a possible partial government shutdown, Trump said he would “totally be willing” to do so if he doesn’t receive the funding he wants for the wall.
“I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner,” he told Politico. “People look at the border, they look at the rush to the police, they look at the rock throwers and really hurting three people, three very brave border patrol folks -- I think that it's a tremendous issue, but much more importantly, is really needed. So we have to have border security."
A bipartisan deal in the Senate approved $1.6 billion in border security, but Trump remained adamant that he needed the $5 billion to fund the centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign.
Earlier this year, Democratic and Republican leaders struck a deal to avoid a shutdown by funding about three-fourths of the government into 2019. Funding for the Department of Homeland Security and several other agencies, however, will expire on Dec. 7.
If he doesn’t receive his desired funding, Trump also threatened in an interview with The Washington Post to increase physical security at the border, which has been the site of increasingly tense clashes between migrants and U.S. border officials in recent days, including the use of tear gas and pepper spray against members of the migrant caravan.
"We need Democrat votes to have a wall," Trump said. "Now, if we don't get it, will I get it done another way? I might get it done another way. There are other potential ways that I can do it. You saw what we did with the military, with the barbed wire and the fencing, and various other things."