Key Trump aide on willingness to shut down government over wall: ‘If it comes to it, absolutely’

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller said Sunday that the Trump administration is willing to do "whatever is necessary" to build a wall along the southern border, including shutting down the government at the end of the week.

"We're going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall to stop this ongoing crisis of illegal immigration," Miller said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Miller said the White House is "absolutely" willing to shut down the government "if it comes to it."


"At stake is the question of whether or not the United States remains a sovereign country," he added. "Whether or not we can establish and enforce rules for entrance into our country. The Democrat Party has a simple choice, they can either choose to fight for America's working class or to promote illegal immigration. You can't do both."

Miller, one of Trump's most hard-line advisers when it comes to immigration, showed no indication the White House was prepared to back off its demands for $5 billion in funding for Trump's proposed border wall.

Miller's rare television appearance came at the same time that Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell-backed Super PAC says nominating Roy Moore would be 'gift wrapping' seat to Dems McConnell vows to 'vigorously' oppose Moore's Senate bid Pelosi: Trump delay on Harriet Tubman is 'an insult to the hopes of millions' MORE (D-N.Y.) said on NBC that Trump "will not get a wall."

"If the president wants to debate the wall next year he can," Schumer said. "I don’t think he’ll get it, but I don’t think he should use innocent workers as hostages for his temper tantrum to sort of throw a bone to his base."

Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Lawmakers 'failed us' says ICE chief Pelosi, Democratic leaders seek to quell liberal revolt over border bill MORE (D-Calif.) have offered two options for Trump to consider, both of which included just $1.3 billion for border security. Democrats have shown no indication they intend to increase their proposal.

Congress must pass a series of funding bills by Dec. 21 to avert a government shutdown. Trump has said he would be "proud" to shut down the government over his wall funding request.

Cracking down on illegal immigration has been a hallmark of Trump's agenda. The border wall was a signature campaign promise for Trump, who pledged Mexico would pay for the structure.