Lindsey Graham: Trump needs to ‘dig in’ on wall funding

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamExperts warn of persistent ISIS threat after suicide bombing Graham: Trump should meet Pakistan's leader to reset relations State of American politics is all power games and partisanship MORE (R-S.C.), who has emerged as one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE’s staunchest allies on Capitol Hill, urged the president to “dig in” on funding for a border wall as a deadline to fund parts of the government looms. 

Trump made a “compelling case that you need more wall funding to secure the country,” Graham said on Fox News Tuesday night.

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“He needs to dig in and get the very Democrats who voted for $25 billion to give him $5 [billion] because we need the money now more than ever,” he added, referring to a February deal that fell through. It would have provided $25 billion for border security, including the wall, along with protections for young undocumented immigrants protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

Graham's comments came hours after an Oval Office meeting Tuesday in which Trump stunned Republicans when he said he would take ownership of a partial government shutdown if an agreement could not be reached with Democrats over funding for a border wall.

“We don’t get what we want, one way or the other whether it’s through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government. And I am proud to shut down the government for border security. I will take the mantle. I will shut it down, I’m not going to blame you for it,” Trump told Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerProtecting our judiciary must be a priority in the 116th Congress Baldwin's Trump plays 'Deal or No Deal' with shutdown on 'Saturday Night Live' Sunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Fox’s Wallace to Pence: Is government shutdown all about ‘leverage?' Former House Republican: Trump will lose the presidency if he backs away from border security MORE (D-Calif.) at the White House. 

Funding for seven government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, will lapse on Dec. 21 without a deal.

Graham during the Fox interview urged Trump to pair DACA with border wall money in a new round of government funding and dare the Democrats to decline the deal.

“I think the president and people like me need to make a case to the American people that they’re denying this president money that makes sense. … It’s not the money, it’s the desire to have Trump fail,” he said. 

“He’s in a good spot — make the case that this money is necessary, and challenge the Democrats to work on DACA plus the wall, and if they say no to that, that means they really do hate Trump more than they care about the country, and that will blow up in their face.” 

Trump has made his campaign promise of a border wall the cornerstone of his immigration policy, though its funding is in serious jeopardy with Democrats poised to take control of the House of Representatives in January.