Trump threatens government shutdown over border security

Trump threatens government shutdown over border security
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE warned on Sunday that he would be willing to “shut down” the government over border security.

“I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT!” he said in a morning tweet.

“We need great people coming into our Country!” he added.

The president in an earlier tweet on Sunday morning said "many" border crossers are using children for "sinister purposes." He also blasted existing U.S. immigration laws and urged followers to vote for Republicans.

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"Please understand, there are consequences when people cross our Border illegally, whether they have children or not - and many are just using children for their own sinister purposes. Congress must act on fixing the DUMBEST & WORST immigration laws anywhere in the world! Vote 'R,' " he said.

The tweets come amid backlash to the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which led to the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents at the southern border.

A court had ordered the government to reunite the families by last Thursday, but hundreds of children remain apart from their parents.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesman said "good faith" efforts to reunite all families will continue.

The president has frequently criticized U.S. immigration laws as he cracks down on illegal immigration and called on Congress to act.

Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversRep. Steve King pushes GOP to reinstate his committee assignments GOP lawmakers offer several locations for Trump address House vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King MORE (R-Ohio), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said after the president’s tweet that he doesn’t think “we’re going to shut down the government."

“I think we’re going to make sure we keep the government open, but we’re going to get better policies on immigration,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The president wants us to have policies that work for America and work for Americans, and I think that’s what we are going to move forward with.”

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority GOP senator voices concern about Trump order, hasn't decided whether he'll back it MORE (R-Wis.), meanwhile, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that he doesn't "like playing shutdown politics."

"I don’t think it’d be helpful, so let’s try and avoid it," Johnson said.

Trump reportedly threatened during a meeting with GOP senators and White House officials in June to shut down the government over full funding for his border wall.

The federal government last shut down for three days in January as a temporary spending bill stalled in Congress.

— This report was last updated at 12:46 p.m.