Prez Donald Trump 'all alone' on Christmas

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in NORAD Santa tracker phone calls from the White House in Washington

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in NORAD Santa tracker phone calls from the White House in Washington

They pointed to problems beyond the shutdown, including the plunging stock market and the president's firing of the defense secretary. The incoming acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said the partial shutdown could drag into the New Year. Mulvaney would only say the offer was between Trump's $5.7 billion request and $1.3 billion Democrats have offered. "We can't do it without a wall", he said. The comments highlighted Trump's unpredictable negotiating style.

Late on Monday, in a White House appearance where he talked with children by telephone about Christmas and Santa Claus, Trump was asked by reporters if there had been any progress in talks about funding the government.

Trump chimed in from the White House, where he has been cooped up since the shutdown began early Saturday.

"I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security", he tweeted.

Mr Trump claimed that many of these workers "have said to me and communicated, 'stay out until you get the funding for the wall.' These federal workers want the wall".

Trump has reportedly put off his scheduled trip to Florida for Christmas and remains in #Washington along with the first lady, Melania Trump.

There doesn't seem to be much in the way of festive spirit at the White House this Christmas... Mr Trump may have been referring to 33 miles of construction in the Rio Grande Valley that is set to begin in February, part of a total of 84 miles that Congress funded in March, according to the Department of Homeland Security. A 2018 spending bill - which the Senate-passed extension would continue - includes language prohibiting Trump from building any sort of structure not already in use by 2017. "So I think he will get what he wants and I think that's a good thing".

Trump, who cancelled plans to go to his Florida resort on Friday for Christmas because of the shutdown, was scheduled to discuss border security with United States homeland security officials on Monday afternoon.

"It's a barrier from people pouring into our country". Increased arrests indicate that more people are trying to cross the border illegally.

Topiary trees line the East colonnade during the 2018 Christmas Press Preview at the White House in Washington Monday Nov. 26 2018. Christmas has arrived at the White House
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The House of Representatives and the Senate held sessions on Saturday, but both chambers adjourned without agreement, and no votes were expected until Thursday.

Monday and Tuesday, Christmas Eve and Christmas, respectively, are federal holidays, meaning the government is closed anyway.

The partial shutdown - along with Trump declaring Monday, Christmas Eve, a federal holiday - may be contributing to a less-than-urgent approach to the negotiations.

The routines of about 800,000 federal employees, meanwhile, were about to be disrupted.

"We are not going to let that take place", the president said. Without a deal to break the impasse, the shutdown is likely to stretch into the new year. Trump recently declared he'd be "proud" to shut down the government over border issues.

That plan, though, was torn up after his favorite Fox News hosts starting attacking him on the evening of December 19 for abandoning his promise to build a border wall - a critique that was joined by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh the following afternoon.

Democrats are staunchly opposed, and the absence of a deal meant federal funds for dozens of agencies lapsed at midnight on Friday.

"Trump voters identify all his accomplishments with the wall", the consultant said, adding that caving without a fight would have been a disaster.

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