Trump shows no signs of backing down over the border wall, shutdown during Iraq visit

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE showed no signs of backing down over his demand for border wall funding on Wednesday during his surprise visit to a U.S. military base in Iraq.

Pressed by a reporter on how long the shutdown would last, Trump replied "Whatever it takes."

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"I mean, we're going to have a wall," Trump said, according to a White House transcript of his remarks at al-Asad Air Base. "We're going to have safety. We need safety for our country, even from this standpoint."

"We need a wall. So when you say, 'How long is it going to take?' When are they going to say that we need border security? When are the Democrats going to say it? Don't forget, the Democrats all agreed that you need a wall, until I wanted it," Trump claimed. "Once I wanted it, they didn't agree."

As the shutdown enters its sixth day, neither the White House nor Democratic leaders have ceded ground over Trump's demand for $5 billion to fund his proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) over the weekend said Trump “must abandon the wall, plain and simple” for the government to reopen. 

Trump later in his remarks said there has already been progress on the wall, claiming, "We fixed a tremendous amount of wall — many miles." 

When reporters pressed him over whether the White House would be willing to accept $2 billion rather than the demanded $5 billion, Trump said, "I'm not going to talk about it now. But I will say this: We have been building a lot of wall."

He blamed the impasse on House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiKids confront Feinstein over Green New Deal Can progressives govern? Dems plan hearing on emergency declaration's impact on military MORE (D-Calif.), claiming that she opposed the wall funding because she hopes to become Speaker.

"So Nancy is calling the shots," Trump said. "Look, politically speaking — I don't do it for politics, I'm doing nothing for politics. But, politically speaking, people want border security, okay?"

Updated on Dec. 27 at 7:56 a.m.