Trump isn’t giving in on southern border wall: Graham

US President Donald Trump and others listen to a prayer during a meeting about border security in the Cabinet Room of the White House

Image Mr Trump held an immigration and border security meeting in the White House on Friday

Trumps's refusal indicates that the shutdown, now in its 24th day, might not be coming to an end anytime soon with neither side prepared to give ground. The government shutdown is motivated by Trump's desire for $5.7 billion in border wall funding, which congressional Democrats are refusing to grant him unless the government is first reopened.

Over the last 24 hours, Trump has privately touted a Washington Post-ABC News poll indicating that public support for a border wall has increased to 42 per cent from 34 per cent a year ago, a source familiar with his comments told CNN.

Democrats and their allies are concerned that if party leaders cut a deal with President Donald Trump on wall funding, it would set a precedent for more rounds of risky brinksmanship in the months and years to come.

Jennifer Lawless, a politics professor at the University of Virginia, said she believes Trump and Republicans will lose the game of chicken as furloughed workers, airport travelers, tourists and others "experience the consequences of political dysfunction firsthand". "Clearly the president's got authority under the law, but he's said he doesn't want it to come to that. I don't want to just delay it".

'We need a wall, very simple. "I don't know, maybe they're celebrating the shutdown", Trump said. Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill tweeted Monday: "Speaker Pelosi has been in DC all weekend working from the Capitol".

From the White House, Trump argued that he alone was ready to negotiate, noting that a group of House and Senate Democrats were touring hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. But he now blames his political foes.

Trump has been counseled by outside advisers to move toward declaring a national emergency for the "crisis" that he says exists at the southern border. The president initially sounded as though such a move was imminent, but then pulled back. He has said several times since he first mentioned the idea in public this month that he prefers a legislative solution. We'll see if that holds, but it's a key piece of all of this, particularly given the new House Democratic majority. Graham, who spoke with Trump by telephone on Sunday morning, said the legislative path "is just about shut off" and blamed intransigence by Pelosi. The poll finds 51 per cent say they strongly oppose such a declaration.

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Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., called Graham's idea to reopen the government a "great place to start".

On Saturday, the partial government shutdown will stretch in its 22nd day and Trump's plans for ending the stalemate are shifting yet again. But Mexico has refused forcing Trump to ask Congress for the money instead.

The White House has been laying the groundwork for an emergency declaration, which is feared by lawmakers in both parties. The DACA recipients, they are all tied up in court but I think he would give them work permits for three years, one-time renewable if you could get wall funding.

This survey found that only 24 percent said the situation at the border constitutes a crisis, but almost half said it is a serious problem. See if we can do a deal around the TPS recipients who are going to lose their legal status ... there are about 400,000. "We have drugs, we have criminals, we have gangs, and the Democrats don't want to do anything about it". Among Republicans, 58 per cent both support the wall and say Trump should continue to demand funding, compared with 22 per cent who say he should compromise to end the shutdown.

"It's the last option, not the first option, but we're pretty close to that being the only option", Graham said of an emergency declaration.

Don't read Graham's comments as a sign that Graham is fleeing the President's side - this is far more about Graham understanding that negotiations are more fruitful with a new deadline and anvil hanging over one's head than anything else (a trigger that simply doesn't exist in this current scenario, where there is no deadline - or end to a shutdown in sight).

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