President Donald Trump used part of his missile defense speech at the Pentagon on Thursday to slam Democrats for failing to negotiate over border security during the partial government shutdown.
The president reiterated his claim that the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is a “humanitarian and security crisis” and called for a physical barrier to curb illegal immigration.
“The federal government remains shut down because congressional Democrats refused to approve border security,” Trump said. “While many Democrats in the House and the Senate would like to make a deal, Speaker Pelosi will not let them negotiate. The party has been hijacked by the open borders fringe within the party.”
“Hopefully Democrat lawmakers will step forward to do what is right for our country, and what’s right for our country is border security at the strongest level,” he added.
The partial shutdown is now in its fourth week as President Donald Trump has requested $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall but Democratic leaders will only offer $1.6 billion for border security. Democratic leadership snubbed a lunch meeting at the White House earlier this week that was intended to continue shutdown negotiations.
However, some Democrats have expressed a desire to make a deal with the president and approve funding for partial fencing along the border, perhaps signaling a fissure in the Democratic Party. (RELATED: Here Are The Democrats Who Have Expressed Support For Some Kind Of Border Barrier)