Trump digs in on border fight as shutdown stalemate drags on

President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE on Saturday dug in on his demand for border wall funding to end the partial government shutdown after meeting with several of his conservative allies in Congress.
 
“The crisis of illegal activity at our Southern Border is real and will not stop until we build a great Steel Barrier or Wall. Let work begin!” Trump tweeted following the lunch meeting at the White House.
 
Around an hour earlier, a senior administration official told reporters that Trump does not intend to back down from his request for $5 billion in funding for “physical barriers" along the U.S.-Mexico border.
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“We're not going to negotiate over the phone as to what he would accept. That continues to be what this president is pushing for,” the official added when asked if the president would accept $1.6 billion instead.
 
The Senate adjourned later Saturday without a deal in place and is scheduled to meet again after Christmas, ensuring the shutdown will continue for several more days. 
 
The president decided to bunker down with members of his own party who largely support his push for border wall funding as lawmakers returned to the Capitol in search of a deal to end the partial shutdown that began at midnight.
 
Trump and Democrats remain stuck in a stalemate over the $5 billion in border wall money.
 
Three members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, including Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Mueller report poses new test for Dems Washington in frenzy over release of Mueller report MORE (N.C.) and founding member Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanOvernight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Cummings accuses Oversight Republicans of obstructing drug price probe Schumer staffer-turned-wrestling coach focus of new documentary MORE (Ohio), were among those who dined with Trump in the White House residence.
 
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Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig Shelby20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall Conservatives urge Trump to stick with Moore for Fed Poll: Roy Moore leading Alabama GOP field MORE (Ala.) also attended, along with Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars DOJ: Dem subpoena for Mueller report is 'premature and unnecessary' Dems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions MORE (S.C.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeDems sound alarm over top DOJ nominee Restore Pell Grant eligibility to people in prison Former Democratic aide pleads guilty to doxing GOP senators attending Kavanaugh hearing MORE (Utah). 
 
 
Top Republicans on Capitol Hill said it is imperative that the White House attracts Democratic support to end the funding impasse.
 
  
 
Pence traveled to the Capitol to brief Schumer on the lunch after it concluded.
 
Trump earlier Saturday pushed back against critics of his shutdown strategy, tweeting that “we are negotiating with the Democrats on desperately needed Border Security (Gangs, Drugs, Human Trafficking & more).”
 
He also repeated his warning about a lengthy shutdown, writing “it could be a long stay.”
 
While both the Senate and House are in session, it remains unclear when a vote might take place on a deal to reopen federal agencies, all but guaranteeing that about a quarter of the federal government will remain shuttered in the days before Christmas. 
 
The senior administration official said the government is working to ensure the shutdown “is painless as possible,” saying that services such as airport security screenings, food safety inspections will continue and national parks and the Smithsonian Institution will remain open. 

The official declined to say how many federal workers will be furloughed when they are scheduled to return to work after Christmas, but said that 15 percent of the workforce could be affected in some form.
 
Updated: 4:30 p.m.