Trump: GOP is ‘totally unified’ on border strategy

President Trump emerged from a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans downplaying signs of division within the party by saying they are “totally unified” in the border wall fight.

“I would say that we have a very, very unified party,” Trump told reporters at the U.S. Capitol after meeting with Senate Republicans for more than an hour.

Trump, standing next to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said the party was totally “unified” and had “no discussion about anything other than solidarity.”

{mosads}The closed-door meeting comes on day 19 of the partial shutdown, with no signs of an agreement to reopen the government. Trump will meet with congressional leadership at the White House later Wednesday.

McConnell echoed Trump in painting a unified front, saying GOP senators were “behind the president.”

But several senators have publicly raised concerns with Trump’s strategy. The president has doubled down on his demand for $5.7 billion for the border — an amount that can’t pass either chamber. 

GOP senators leaving the sit-down said some “concerns” about the strategy were raised during the meeting, which was their first opportunity to directly question Trump. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) all said they raised concerns with the president about the impact the shutdown was having on their constituents.

But Trump downplayed the differences, saying that “a couple” asked about strategy “but they are with us all the way.”

“Everybody in that room was fantastic,” Trump added. “There was no reason for me even to be here.”

Alexander Bolton contributed to this report, which was updated at 2:45 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Lisa Murkowski Marco Rubio Mitch McConnell Susan Collins

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