President Trump said Tuesday that he’d “love to see a shutdown” if no immigration deal is reached between Republicans and Democrats to tighten border security.
Trump spoke during a White House meeting on the violent MS-13 gang.
"If we don't get rid of these loopholes,” he said, “if we don't change it, let's have a shutdown. We'll do a shutdown."
“I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of," he emphasized.
When asked later to clarify his comments, Trump said “I would shut it down over this issue. I can’t speak for everybody at the table but I will tell you, I would shut it down over this issue.”
He emphasized that “without borders we don’t have a country.”
"If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don't want safety, and unrelated but still related, they don't want to take care of our military,” he concluded, “then shut it down. We'll go with another shutdown."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) both signaled Tuesday that they are close to reaching a deal to keeping the government funded.
"I'm optimistic that very soon, we will be able to reach an agreement," McConnell told reporters.
Schumer told reporters Trump's comment "speaks for itself," saying, "we had one Trump shutdown, nobody wants another maybe except him."
The government will run out of funding Thursday if Democrats and Republicans are unable to strike a deal.