Graham suggests temporary re-opening, but says Trump's 'not going to give in' on shutdown fight

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRep. Tim Ryan becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Graham found Trump election fraud arguments suitable for 'third grade': Woodward book Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan MORE (R-S.C.) said Sunday that he's urged President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE to open up the government for a short period of time so lawmakers can attempt to broker an end to the ongoing government shutdown, but was adamant that the president is "not going to give in" on his demands to fund a border wall.

Graham said on "Fox News Sunday" that he spoke with Trump on Sunday morning, when the president indicated an emergency declaration to construct his desired wall along the southern border is a last resort.

“I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug” on a legislative solution, Graham said.


Graham, who has said he would support Trump declaring an emergency, voiced frustrations that Democrats have in the past voted in favor of funding barriers along the border, but have refused to support Trump's wall.

"It really does perplex me how you expect this to end when you tell the president of the United States, 'you can't get ... $1 for a wall when in the past Democrats have appropriated billions for the wall,' " Graham said.

"What’s he supposed to do, just give in?" Graham added. "He’s not going to give in."

Graham said he believes the president may be willing to reach a deal that would include border wall funding and protections for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as those receiving temporary protected status.

"I don’t want to speak for the president ... but I’m confident what I just described with a few other things would be a deal acceptable to the White House and a lot of Democrats, and I'm just so frustrated we can't get in a room and hammer it out," Graham said.

The president has previously indicated he'd prefer to wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the status of DACA before making a deal for the "Dreamers" who benefit from the program.

Trump's demand for more than $5 billion in funding for the wall along the southern border has been at the heart of a partial government shutdown that has lasted more than three weeks. Democrats have refused to agree to money for the structure.

Trump said late last year he would be "proud" to shutter the government over his demand for wall funding. He has since blamed Democrats for a breakdown in negotiations.

The Democratic-led House last week passed a series of stand-alone spending measures to provide funding for the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Interior and other agencies. The bills are unlikely to be taken up in the Senate.