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  1. ITV Report

Trump says he would 'close down' government to build Mexico wall

Donald Trump has declared he would be willing to "close down" the US government in order to build a wall along the Mexico border.

The US president made the promise in a rally speech in which he also lashed out at media coverage of his response to the racial violence in Charlottesville earlier this month.

Mr Trump took aim at opponents to his divisive campaign pledge to construct a wall along the US border with Mexico.

"Believe me if we have to close down our government we're building that wall," he told cheering supporters in Phoenix, Arizona.

"Let me be very clear to Democrats in congress who oppose a border wall and stand in the way of border security: you are putting all of America's safety at risk - you're doing that, you're doing that."

He later added: "Believe me one way or the other we're going to get that wall."

Addressing the violence in Charlottesville, Mr Trump claimed news outlets misrepresented him and branding them "the source of division" in the US.

He blamed the press for its reporting of his response to the deadly clashes in which a woman died when a car ploughed into anti-fascist protesters opposing a major white nationalist march.

Protesters gathered outside the president's Arizona rally to make their anger heard. Credit: AP

Mr Trump claimed the media "would rather getting ratings and clicks than tell the truth".

He said he had swiftly condemned what had happened but said this was not reflected in reports at the time.

"They don't want to report that I spoke out forcefully against hatred, bigotry and violence and strongly condemned the Neo-Nazis, the white supremacists and the KKK," he said.

Mr Trump had previously been denounced by both Democrats and fellow Republicans after he placed blame for the violence between white supremacists and liberal activists on "both sides".

People protested outside the Phoenix Convention Center, in Arizona, where the president was speaking Credit: AP Photo/Matt York

Reading from his three responses to the violence, the president became visibly more animated as he said he had "openly called for healing unity and love" in the immediate aftermath of Charlottesville.

He then told the crowds: "So on August the 14th, that was it, I said 'all people, I love all people, everything.'"

The comments came as protesters gathered outside the president's Arizona rally to make their anger heard over his handling of events in Charlottesville.