President Trump took a few questions from reporters after signing an anti-human trafficking bill in the Oval Office Wednesday.
Hundreds of thousands of government workers can expect not to receive a paycheck on Friday as the partial government shutdown enters its 19th day.
ABC's Jonathan Karl was particularly persistent as to whether Trump would "just sign" the bills already on the table so furloughed workers could get their paychecks.
The president turned the question back to the questioner. "Is that what you would do, Jon?"
"John, do you think I should just sign?" he asked again, accusing Karl of doing "one-sided" reporting. "If you would do that, you should never be in this position. Because you’d never get anything done."
Trump noted that while many government workers are now forced to work without pay, many of them are "on his side." The president explained that many of those workers engage with him on social media and explain that the shutdown is hard for their families, but that Trump is "doing the right thing."
Asked by @jonkarl what he would say to federal workers going without pay amid shutdown, Pres. Trump calls them "terrific patriots" and claims "a lot of them agree with what I'm doing."— ABC News (@ABC) January 9, 2019
"They want security in our country and so do I." https://t.co/JFuyzGTLae pic.twitter.com/j1s5Kq5H8q
"They’re patriots," Trump said. "They love our country."
The president added that he also has "tremendous support" in Congress. However, should he fail to strike a deal for his border wall funding, he has the "absolute right to do a national emergency" if he can't make headway with "unreasonable" people.
Trump is on Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Republicans on this 19th day of the partial government shutdown.