Trump presses border wall ahead of meeting with top Democrats

Trump threatens to shut down government over border wall funding

Donald Trump, top Democrats in astonishing Oval Office spat

Constantly interrupting, Trump squabbled with the Democrats over whether wall funding could be approved in the House or Senate without Democratic votes.

Mrs Pelosi said there could be a "Trump shutdown" for the holidays.

Chuck Schumer, the senior Democrat in the Republican-dominated Senate, and Nancy Pelosi, who is likely to become speaker in the newly Democrat-controlled House in January, were meeting with Trump later on Tuesday.

The president has called for $5bn to fund the barrier along the US-Mexico border, a campaign promise that he has made into a focal point.

Trump is now embroiled in a standoff with Congress over funding for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico, which he believes would stop the inflow of illegal migrants to the US.

Despite Trump's repeated claims to the contrary, Democrats in Congress have never proposed doing away with border rules.

Congress is seeking to finalise spending before some federal government funding expires on 21 December.

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Washington has been paralysed by political gridlock for most of Trump's two years in office and the partisan divide is set to intensify in January when Democrats take over the majority in the lower house of Congress.

"If we don't get what we want, one way or the other - whether it's through you, through a military, through anything you want to call - I will shut down the government", Trump said as the heated argument drew near a close.

The president has asked for $US5 billion, while Schumer and Pelosi were expected to offer just $1.3b for border security in a package to extend funding for the Department of Homeland Security until 30 September.

Democrats, on the other hand, are loath to give him this victory.

The president wants his wall funding.

In a poll related on Tuesday by NPR/PBS NewsHour and Marist Poll, 57 percent of Americans said Trump should compromise on the wall to avoid a government shutdown.

If neither side blinks, we'll know who is right in a few weeks.

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Trump, who has vowed to stop the inflow of Latin American refugees and immigrants seeking asylum in the United States by building a wall on the border with Mexico but has so far failed to do so due to lacking a funding, has uttered numerous lies about Iran to push his agenda through.

After Mrs Pelosi said they should "call a halt to this", Mr Trump said: "It's not bad, Nancy - it's called transparency".

Schumer said Democrats want to work with Trump to avert a shutdown, but said money for border security should not include the concrete wall Trump has envisioned. It would also signal a major shift for Democrats, who, despite the striking diversity and demographic shifts within their party, have governed for more than a decade with the same trio at the helm.

Hours before the meeting, Mr Trump tweeted that "the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall".

If Democrats have a better way to secure the border than Trump's $5-billion plan, "they need to come with an alternative", Scalise said Monday on Fox News Channel. "I can think of a lot more important things we can do with the military than build a fence".

"And I am proud to shut down the government for border security".

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