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Trump says shutdown won't end until he gets money for border wall

President Trump on Tuesday dug in on his demand for a border wall as the government shutdown stretched into its fourth day.

Speaking to reporters after calling troops on Christmas Day, Trump said lawmakers must approve wall funding or else the shutdown will continue.

“I can't tell you when the government is going to be open,” he said. “I can tell you, it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it. I'll call it whatever they want.”


Trump argued that thousands of workers being furloughed due to the shutdown also want the wall.

“Many of those workers have said to me, communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall. These federal workers want the wall,” the president said.

The comments suggest the funding impasse is unlikely to be resolved quickly when Congress comes back into sessions after Christmas.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Saturday that Trump “must abandon the wall, plain and simple” for the government to reopen.

The shutdown has fueled the year-end chaos that appears to be enveloping Trump's presidency, along with plummeting stock markets, intraparty warfare over the ouster of Defense Secretary James Mattis and troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan and the Russia investigation.

Trump on Tuesday blasted Democrats as hypocrites, saying their opposition to a border wall is like their criticism of his decision to fire James Comey after they hammered the FBI director over his handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email.

“Everybody hated Comey. They thought he did a horrible job. The Democrats hated him, they were calling for his resignation, they were calling for his resignation ... until I fired him,” Trump said.

“It's a disgrace what's happening in our country. But other than that, I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas,” he concluded.

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