Trump rejects Lyndsey Graham’s advice to halt shutdown: ‘I want to get it solved. I don’t want to just delay it’

 

President Donald Trump was clear Monday he stands firm in his request for funding to enhance border security and he’s focused on long-term solutions over temporary fixes.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House against a snowy backdrop, Trump was asked about a proposal from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to reopen the government for three weeks to jump-start talks with Democratic lawmakers on funding a border wall.

“I did reject it,” the president said of Graham’s proposal.

 

“I’m not interested. I want to get it solved. I don’t want to just delay it. I want to get it solved,” Trump added.

Graham has stood with the president in his request for funding and has even called on Trump to declare a national emergency to secure the money.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Graham mentioned a stopgap spending bill “before he pulls the plug.”

“I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug,” Graham said. “See if we can get a deal. If we can’t at the end of three weeks, all bets are off — see if he can do it by himself with the emergency powers. That is my recommendation.”

The president swiped at Democrats for not engaging on the shutdown, referencing a group from the party partaking in a Puerto Rican junket.

“I’ve been here all weekend,” Trump told reporters Monday, before heading to New Orleans to deliver a speech to a farm convention. “A lot of Democrats are in Puerto Rico, celebrating something, I don’t know. Maybe they’re celebrating the shutdown.”

He also said he didn’t know if they were close on a deal.

“This should be the easiest deal that I’ve ever seen,” Trump said. “We’re talking about border security. Who could be against it?”

“We’re talking about drugs pouring in, human traffickers tying up women, putting tape on their mouths, and pouring into our country. We can’t have that. We can’t have that,” he continued. “We have drugs, we have criminals, we have gangs. And the Democrats don’t want to do anything about it.”

Tom Tillison

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