Trump hits bipartisan wall talks: GOP 'wasting their time'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE on Thursday expressed doubt about a bipartisan congressional committee’s ability to secure funding for a border wall, just one day after the group met for the first time.

Trump tweeted that Republicans on the panel “are wasting their time” because Democrats “are not going to give money to build the DESPERATELY needed WALL.”

“I’ve got you covered. Wall is already being built, I don’t expect much help!” the president wrote, without providing specifics.

 

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Trump’s comments could box in Republican lawmakers who are trying to broker a border security agreement with Democrats in order to avert another government shutdown before the Feb. 15 deadline.

Democrats’ opening offer in the Wednesday meeting did not include wall funding, but they also did not close the door entirely to providing money for physical barriers along the border.

Trump last Friday signed a three-week funding measure to reopen the government in order to buy more time for wall negotiations. But his remarks Thursday indicate he could make good on his threat to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build the wall on his own.

The president’s message came after he shifted the terms he is using in the debate over border security.

After weeks of downplaying the need for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and saying “steel slats” or “fencing” could work, Trump returned to his original demand for a wall.

“Lets just call them WALLS from now on and stop playing political games! A WALL is a WALL!” Trump tweeted.

 

Republican lawmakers hoping to strike a deal with Democrats had also preferred to use the word “barrier” instead of “wall.”

“It could be a barrier. It doesn’t have to be a wall,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOn The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada Congressional leaders to launch budget talks with White House RNC chair on Alabama abortion bill: I would have exceptions for rape, incest MORE (R-Calif.) told reporters earlier in the week.

Updated at 9:05 a.m.