Donald Trump says Nancy Pelosi is ‘playing games’ with wall funding
President Trump said Thursday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “playing games” with his demand for a border wall and he doesn’t expect the congressional negotiations to reach a deal on a barrier for the southern border.
“She’s playing games,” the president told reporters at the White House. “If there’s no wall, it doesn’t work.”
Minutes earlier, Mrs. Pelosi vowed at the Capitol that Democrats won’t approve money for a wall as part of negotiations on border security.
She suggested there might be money available for a so-called “Normandy” fence along the southern border, which would stop vehicles but not people on foot.
Upon hearing that, the president said he doesn’t expect a 17-member bipartisan committee to reach a deal on border security that’s acceptable to him.
“I don’t think they’re going to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t expect much coming out of this committee.”
But he said he won’t decide on declaring a national emergency until the committee hits its deadline of Feb. 15.
Referring to another migrant caravan headed to the U.S. from Honduras, Mr. Trump said Mrs. Pelosi should be grateful for the current walls in some regions along the border, such as San Diego.
“If you took down the wall in Tijuana, [Mexico] ... there will be so many people coming into our country that Nancy Pelosi will be begging for a wall,” he said.
The president also insisted that his administration is renovating and building sections of wall along the border, and he’ll continue to do so with or without congressional approval.
“The wall is getting built,” he said. “I would like to build it even faster. We have money. We’re building the wall right now. It’s going up fairly rapidly. It’s being beautifully renovated. We renovate some, we replace some.”
Mr. Trump said the impasse is at the same point as prior to the 35-day partial government shutdown, because Democrats don’t want to fund a wall. But he said the shutdown that ended Friday “set the table” for his next move.
“We’ve set the stage for what’s going to happen” if a deal isn’t reached by the Feb. 15 deadline, he said. “If they’re not going to give money for the wall ... it’s not going to work.”