President Donald Trump said that he would “totally be willing” to shut part of the government down if Congress does not approve a $5 billion budget to build his proposed wall along the U.S. southern border.
Trump also told Politico that the issue is a “total winner,” politically.
“I don’t do anything … just for political gain,” Trump said. “But I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner. 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.”
Politico noted that Trump was appearing to refer to a confrontation along the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday in which migrants throw rocks at Border Patrol agents, adding that his claim that they were seriously injured is unsubstantiated.
Democrats have pledged $1.6 billion for border security just weeks before they regain control in the House and days before lawmakers must pass government funding legislation.
A partial shutdown would bring some operations at the Homeland Security, Justice and State departments, among other government agencies, to a halt.
“I am firm,” Trump told Politico, threatening to veto a spending bill that does not include funding for the wall, which was a signature campaign issue.
Shutting down the government could cost Trump politically, despite his claims.