Trump ready for US shutdown to last ‘for years’

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International desk: US President Donald Trump has said he is prepared for a partial shutdown of the US government – now entering its third week – to last years.

After meeting top Democrats, he also said he could declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build a US-Mexico border wall.

Mr Trump insisted he would not sign any bill without wall funding, which Democrats adamantly oppose, according to BBC report.

Around 800,000 federal workers have been without pay since 22 December.

The Republican president initially gave a positive account of Friday’s meeting at the White House, describing it as “very productive”.

But then he acknowledged in response to a journalist’s question that he had threatened to keep federal agencies closed for years if necessary.

“I did say that, absolutely I said that,” said Mr Trump in the executive mansion’s Rose Garden. “I don’t think it will but I am prepared.”

“I’m very proud of doing what I’m doing,” the president added. “I don’t call it a shutdown, I call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and safety of our country.”

When asked whether he had considered using emergency presidential powers to bypass congressional approval of funding, Mr Trump said he had.

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