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Trump Threatens Government Shutdown "If We Don't Get What We Want"

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In a tense public exchange with Democratic leaders on Tuesday, President Donald Trump took ownership of a potential shutdown of key government agencies over the issue of funding of his controversial border wall.

"If we don't get what we want, one way or the other," Trump said, "I will shut down the government, absolutely."

Trump stated he would be "proud to shut down the government for border security," an issue that helped propel him to the White House.

The comments from Trump came as he met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in the Oval Office.

Trump argued that the U.S. border with Mexico cannot be secured without the proposed wall, demanding $5 billion for its construction.

Meanwhile, Democrats have claimed the border wall would not be effective and suggested extending border security funding at current levels.

The dispute over funding for the wall, which Trump insisted throughout his presidential campaign would be paid for by Mexico, comes as lawmakers face a December 21st deadline to fund key government agencies.

Most of the government was funded in a spending package passed ahead of the midterm elections, although key agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Interior Department would be affected by a shutdown.

In remarks to reporters after the meeting, Schumer appeared to claim victory for getting Trump to take responsibility for the potential shutdown.

"This Trump shutdown, this temper tantrum that he seems to throw, will not get him his wall and will hurt a lot of people," Schumer added.

(Photo: Marc Nozell)

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