Trump to visit border, White House announces amid shutdown, wall fight

Museums are among the attractions closed because of the shutdown

On Sunday, Trump threatened again to declare a national emergency to build the wall along the U.S. Mexico border if he could not reach a deal with Democratic congressional leaders.

The debate was a "very important battle to win from the standpoint of safety, number one, [and] defining our country and who we are", Mr Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for a short trip to the Camp David presidential retreat.

President Trump on Sunday quoted Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton supporting border security, pushing Democrats to relent in the standoff over spending on a border wall. I have never had anything like it in terms of calls coming in, in terms of people writing in and tweeting. The president has said he will not budge on the money he is requesting.

- $5.7 billion for what is now called a "steel barrier" for the Southwest Border (which is an increase of $4.1 billion over the Senate funding). Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. "I've never had this much support", said the president in a surprise briefing on Thursday.

A Democratic aide said Sunday's meeting started about 45 minutes late, and despite the delay they still did not receive a full budget justification.

"We need to open up government and then negotiate". After a round of staff-level talks Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that the session had been "productive", only to have Trump later tweet: "Not much headway made today".

In a rambling Rose Garden appearance on Friday, Trump described his meeting with congressional leaders as productive, after Democrats claimed otherwise.

The president said he wanted to highlight the border fence renovations already under construction as he continues to make the case for more border security.

He also said he would call major steel companies asking them to design a wall - which would be a long way from core missions of smelting, procuring materials, and running a factory. The impasse has also added another crisis to Trump's turbulent presidency as he adjusts to working in an era in which he must now share power with Democrats.

Except, Trump has backed off plans for a concrete wall (since Democrats don't like it) and said they could erect steel barriers instead. "It's actually stronger", Trump told reporters explaining the reasons for moving towards a steel-based physical barrier rather than a concrete one.

"I can relate", Trump said.

"I guarantee polling-wise, with his base, he is right in the sweet spot", said former campaign aide Barry Bennett. "And it's been that way for decades, and we can't have it anymore", Trump said.

The border wall is the primary sticking point in negotiations with Democrats in the US Congress to end a partial government shutdown, which has dragged on for 17 days.

So far, Trump is standing firmly with the loyal supporters who want him to fight for his promised wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. "So that's a non-starter".

The White House lays out President Trump's priorities in a letter to the House Appropriations Committee as the shutdown continues in Washington; Kevin Corke reports.

Mick Mulvaney, Trump's acting chief of staff, told NBC's Meet the Press program that agreeing to a steel separation would allow Democrats to stick to their refusal to fund a wall.

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