Trump says he may call a national emergency to build border wall

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE said Friday that he is considering calling a national emergency to build a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border.

“We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely. We can do it. I haven’t done it, I may do it. I may do it, but we can call a national emergency and build it quickly, it’s another way of doing it,” he said at a press conference Friday. 

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“If we can do it through a negotiated process, we’re giving that a shot,” he added.

Trump's comments from the White House Rose Garden came shortly after he held a closed-door White House meeting with congressional leaders on the 14th day of a partial government shutdown. 

Trump also threatened to keep 25 percent of the government shut down for years until he gets his desired funding to build the border wall.

The government entered a partial shutdown on Dec. 22, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed or forced to work without pay. The shutdown began following an impasse between lawmakers and the White House over Trump's demand for billions of dollars in funding for his proposed border wall. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Impeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators MORE (R-Ky.) said earlier Friday that Trump will “designate his top people” to negotiate with congressional leaders this weekend to find a way to end the government shutdown.

Democratic leaders coming from the closed-door White House meeting said government agencies should be reopened while negotiations continue. 

“We made a plea to the president once again: Don’t hold millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of workers hostage. Open up the government and let’s continue the discussions,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge Liberal super PAC to run digital ads slamming Trump over Medicare comments MORE (N.Y.) told reporters.

“It’s very hard to see how progress will be made unless they open up the government,” he added.

Trump told reporters at Friday's press conference that he didn't think the shutdown would last that long, saying Democrats want to make a deal. 

Newly minted House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Social Security emerges as flash point in Biden-Sanders fight | Dems urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency | Trump to sign USMCA next week Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address MORE (D-Calif.) called Friday's closed-door White House meeting a "lengthy and sometimes contentious conversation with the president." She said both sides agreed to continue talks, but said Democrats don't believe a standoff can be resolved until the government is reopened.