Trump Meets Press, Asks Border Patrol to Explain Need for Wall

UNITED STATES- OCTOBER 25 Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer D-N.Y. and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-Calif. attend a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in in Emancipation Hall to honor Filipino veterans of World War II

California Rep. Brad Sherman introduced articles of impeachment against Trump, though for now the measures are largely symbolic.

Shortly after Democrat Nancy Pelosi was elected again as House speaker after an eight-year gap, Trump brought the cameras to himself with a surprise press appearance announced just moments before. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reiterated Thursday that the Senate will only take up government spending legislation that Trump supports.

During his free-wheeling session with reporters, Trump also wrongly claimed that he'd never called for the wall to be concrete.

"You can call it a barrier, you can call it whatever you want, but essentially, we need protection in our country", he said.

The new Congress Pelosi's now presiding over seats a record number of female lawmakers and is the most racially and ethnically diverse, including a new generation of Muslims, Latinos, Native Americans and African-Americans.

Trump said his meeting with the union officials had always been planned and just happened to come at "a very opportune time". "We're not playing games - we have to do it".

President Donald Trump, left, listens as Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, talks about border security, January 3, 2019, after making a surprise visit to the press briefing room of the White House. "I thought it was highly disrespectful to the United States of America".

Several Cabinet members and the vice president are scheduled to receive pay raises of up to $10,000 annually under previous legislation. Trump designated Vice-President Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and adviser Jared Kushner to work with a congressional delegation over the weekend.

Separately, the White House signaled Thursday that the president would veto either measure if the legislation reached the Resolute Desk.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council and an ardent supporter of Trump in Fox News appearances, said that not all federal workers were critical of the shutdown.

Congressional leaders were slated to meet with Trump at 11 a.m. Friday to resume negotiations, though neither side appears ready to cave. Republicans still hold the majority in the Senate.

"President Donald Trump is a direct and serious threat to our country", she wrote in the op-ed published in the Detroit Free Press with John Bonifaz, co-founder of the nonprofit Free Speech For People.

Earlier in the day, newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the President's wall as "a waste of money" and "an immorality" during a news conference hours after reclaiming the gavel in the new Congress.

After recapturing the speaker's gavel, Pelosi vowed to pass six appropriations bills in the House to fund most of the government and a continuing resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until February 8.

"Without a wall you cannot have border security", Trump said, following several statements from the individual officers.

House Democrats are also planning to vote to fund the parts of the government that have been shut down for two weeks. The broader bill passed 241-190, with seven GOP members voting for it. "Her test of leadership will be: Can she control the radical progressives who support open borders and can she successfully negotiate opening the government and working with President Trump?"

After congratulating Pelosi, Trump moved quickly to the issue of border security.

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