Trump digs in on border fight as shutdown stalemate drags on

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ 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.
 
 
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Trump was accompanied at the lunch by Vice President Pence, acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism White House spokeswoman leaving to join PR firm Trump’s state of emergency declaration imperils defense budget MORE, legislative affairs director Shahira Knight and senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerDems open new front against Trump Dems launch investigation into Trump administration's dealings with Saudi Arabia The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? MORE.
 
Top Republicans on Capitol Hill said it is imperative that the White House attracts Democratic support to end the funding impasse.
 
  
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration MORE (D-N.Y.) on Saturday said his party is “open to discussing any proposals with the president as long as they do not include funding for the wall.”
 
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.