During a phone interview with Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro, President Trump said the reason he believes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer are holding out on funding a border wall and reopening the government.
According to Trump, their resistance wasn’t really a financial question of how the government would come up with $5 billion and it wasn’t really a civil question of how a wall would affect neighboring communities. The reason congressional Democrats were holding out was strictly political, the president opined in the Saturday interview.
“Frankly, I’m ready, willing and able to get a deal done. But they don’t — they think it’s politics. I think it’s bad politics,” Trump said on Fox News Channel’s “Justice” via Breitbart.
During the interview, Trump said he was actively trying to negotiate with Democrats and was at the White House ready and willing to sign a funding bill into law.
“So, we have a humanitarian crisis, to put it mildly. People are trying to get in by the tens of thousands. They’re rushing the border. There’s right now in Honduras — a country we pay a lot of money to, I think foolishly because they don’t help us. But right now, you have another caravan forming, and it’s going to be the biggest one yet,” Trump said.
Trump continued, per Breitbart:
We stopped the last one. You see what’s going on in Tijuana. They couldn’t get through because we have a wall there.
We got a wall up. The military’s been fantastic, Border Patrol has been incredible, and ICE is, you know, these are brave people that do a great job. And we stopped them.
But there’s another big one forming. We need a wall, very simple. Whether you call it a steel barrier, wall, it doesn’t matter, but we need a very strong structure.
“I have the absolute right to call a national emergency. Other presidents have called many national emergencies for things of lesser importance, frankly, than this. And I have the right to do it,” Trump said.
“I’d rather see the Democrats come back from their vacation and act. They’re not acting, and they’re the ones that are holding it up. It would take me 15 minutes to get a deal done, and everybody could go back to work,” the president continued. “But I’d like to see them act responsibly, and they’re not acting responsibly, and that’s it.”
He added: “We could be — I’m in the White House, and most of them are in different locations.”
Trump said other presidents could have handled the issue of illegal immigration and the border crisis, but have been unable to get the job done. Trump will, he said.
“You know, if you look back, this should have been done 30 years ago, 20 years ago, ten years ago. This should have been done by others. Just like if you look at Jerusalem, if you look at the embassy moving to Jerusalem, every president promised that, they never did it. I did it,” the president continued, via Breitbart.
Later in the interview, Judge Pirro asked Trump whether he would seriously consider declaring a national emergency to acquire the necessary funds to construct a border wall, should Democrats continue to hold out.
“I want to give them a chance to see if they can act responsibly,” Trump answered. “They should act responsibly. We’re talking about the border, and I have to say a lot of the people that aren’t getting their checks are letting us know we don’t care, you’ve got to solve the crisis at the border. It’s a humanitarian crisis, and it’s national security. It’s very important.”