Graham: Trump giving up on border wall fight would be the 'end of his presidency'

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus New polls show tight races for Graham, McConnell Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing MORE (R-S.C.) on Wednesday cautioned President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE against giving in on his demand for funding for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, claiming that doing so would likely be "the end of his presidency."

“He’s not going to sign a bill that doesn’t have money for the wall. I can tell you exactly how this is going to end. The president is going to challenge Democrats to compromise and if they continue to say no, they’re going to pay the price with the American people," Graham said during an appearance on Fox News's "Hannity."

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“If he gives in now, that’s the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president," he continued. "That’s probably the end of his presidency. Donald Trump has made a promise to the American people. He’s going to secure our border."

Graham also said he hoped that Sen.-elect Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans NRCC poll finds McBath ahead of Handel in Georgia Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions MORE (R-Utah) and other lawmakers view the dispute over the border wall as "a fight worth having.”

“That’s the end of us if we give in on this issue as Republicans," Graham said. "I hope Mitt Romney and everybody else knows this is a fight worth having."

Romney wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post on Tuesday criticizing Trump's character, saying he hasn't "risen to the mantle" of the presidency. But Romney also said during an interview on CNN on Wednesday that he "would vote for the border wall."

The federal government has been in a partial shutdown since Dec. 22 that was prompted by Trump's demand that a spending bill include $5 billion for a wall along the southern border.

Democrats, who will gain control of the House on Thursday when the new Congress begins, have pledged not to approve any funding for the wall. 

The two sides showed no indications of coming closer to an agreement following a meeting between Trump and lawmakers Wednesday at the White House, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks Overnight Health Care: Ohio governor tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Trump's visit | US shows signs of coronavirus peak, but difficult days lie ahead | Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready 'right around' Election Day MORE (R-Ky.) suggesting that the shutdown may continue for weeks.

McConnell said later Wednesday that a House plan to fully reopen the federal government is a "total non-starter," comparing it to "political performance art" that will not be taken up in the Senate.

House Democrats are expected to vote on Thursday on a package to reopen the government. One bill would fund the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8. The second would fund the remaining six bills through Sept. 30, the end of the 2019 fiscal year.