Trump threatens to use emergency powers for wall as shutdown grinds on

Trump threatens to use emergency powers for wall as shutdown grinds on

As a partial U.S. government shutdown hit the two-week mark on Friday, Donald Trump once again invited congressional leaders to meet him at the White House, amid an impasse over his demands for taxpayers' money for a border wall, and Democrats taking control of the House of Representative.

The Republican president initially gave a positive account of Friday's meeting at the White House, describing it as "very productive".

About 800,000 federal workers have been affected by the 22 December closure of about one-quarter of the federal government as Trump withheld his support for new funding until he secures $5bn to build his long-promised but unachieved wall along the US-Mexico border.

In a television interview that aired Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that the House's actions regarding impeachment should be guided by an anticipated report from Mueller, who is probing whether Trump's campaign coordinated with Russian Federation and whether Trump has tried to obstruct the investigation.

Asked about those comments during an appearance Friday morning on Fox News' "Fox & Friends", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders echoed some of the sentiments in Trump's tweets. "Over the last two years, President Trump set the tone from the top in his administration that behaving ethically and complying with the law is optional", new House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) said. Trump is seeking $5.6 billion to build it. 'I said why don't you use this for impeachment, ' Trump said, referencing the shutdown.

Trump insisted that federal workers affected by the U.S. government shutdown support him, despite the fact that many were forced either to work without salaries or go on unpaid leave.

Mr Trump said he could declare a national emergency to build the wall without congressional approval, but would first try a "negotiated process".

President Donald Trump responded to a freshman congresswoman's profane remark about impeaching him, saying she "dishonored" herself and her family.

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Democrats are only willing to provide $US1.3 billion for border security, including a fence rather than a wall. Democrats disagree, with Ms Pelosi calling the wall immoral, ineffective and expensive.

Pelosi said Friday's meeting with Trump was "sometimes contentious" but that they agreed to continue talking.

House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addresses the U.S. House of Representatives after being elected as House Speaker at the start of the 116th Congress inside the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3.

Trump confirmed he said as much in a meeting earlier Friday with top Democrats that failed to produce a deal on ending the two-week shutdown. He has since said they are responsible.

Tlaib and Democrat Ilhan Omar of Minnesota became the first Muslim women in congress on Thursday, with the opening of the 116th congress amid a two-week long partial government shutdown.

Federal agencies such as the Justice Department, Commerce Department and departments of Agriculture, Labor, Interior and Treasury have been hit by the shutdown.

But Democratic congressional leaders characterized the White House meeting differently.

House Republicans, however, only passed a spending bill funding the wall at the last minute in late 2018 as they were preparing to leave office - and that bill abruptly died in the Senate, where it lacked the votes to pass.

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