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Trump says not looking to call national emergency, nowhere close to deal on border security

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

US on Monday said he is not looking to call a national emergency on the issue of border security, even as he acknowledged that he and the opposition Democrats are not close to a deal on the ongoing shutdown.

"I'm not looking to call a national emergency. This is so simple you shouldn't have to. Now, I have the absolute legal right to call it, but I'm not looking to do that because this is too simple," Trump said.

At the same time he acknowledged that he is not close to a deal with the Democrats on border security, the absence of which has resulted in a partial shutdown for a record 24 days now with no end in sight.

More than 800,000 federal workers have been put out of work and have not received their salaries.

Functioning of several key wings of the federal including the State Department have been badly hit due to the shutdown.

"The Democrats should say we want border security, we have to build a wall, otherwise you can't have border security, and we should get on with our lives. The Democrats are stopping us and they're stopping a lot of great people from getting paid. All they have to do is say we want border security. That automatically means a wall or a barrier," Trump said.

Trump said he is waiting for the Democrats to come to the negotiating table.

"I've been here (at the White House) all weekend. A lot of the Democrats were in celebrating something. I don't know, maybe they're celebrating the shutdown," he said.

"We have a very big crisis, a humanitarian crisis on the border. Everybody knows it. They know it. And many of them are saying 'we agree with you'. Many of them are calling and many of them are breaking," he said.

Asserting that his Republicans are rock solid united, he said his administration has to take care of the border. "Many of the people, they're all going to get their money, many of the people that aren't being paid right now are in total agreement with us," he said.

Trump said national security is his priority. "We have a priority, it's the safety of our nation. The southern border has been horrible for decades and it's now, because of the success of our country, it's now at a level that we cannot put up with," he said.

Seeking support of the Democrats in his endeavour, Trump said he needs their votes, otherwise, he cannot resolve the issue.

"They now control the House. Let's see if they can lead. I don't know that they can lead, but we're going to soon find out," he said.

Trump said he is not sure if they are close to a deal.

"I don't know if we're close to a deal. This should be the easiest deal that I've ever seen. We're talking about border security. Who can be against it? We're talking about drugs pouring in, human traffickers tying up women, putting tape on their mouths, and pouring into the country. We can't have that," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 22:35 IST