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  1. ITV Report

Donald Trump says shutdown could last years

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

President Donald Trump has said the partial government shutdown could go on for months or years.

Speaking to congressional leaders he said he has designated a team of negotiators to try and resolve the impasse.

The US government is in its 14th day of a partial government shutdown over Mr Trump’s insistence for funding of his proposed wall at the US-Mexico border.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters their nearly two-hour meeting with Mr Trump was “somewhat contentious”.

Mr Trump called it “productive.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters after meeting with President Donald Trump about border security Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

In the Rose Garden after the meeting on Friday, Mr Trump said he would not end up reopening the closed government agencies until he gets border security.

“We have to get a structure built,” he said.

Mr Trump said he has designated a team that will meet over the weekend with politicians to resolve the stand-off.

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Mr Trump spoke after emerging from more than two hours of somewhat contentious talks with Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

Vice President Mike Pence said there was a crisis at the border.

Mr Trump said that the official ports of entry are strong, but there are miles and miles of unprotected areas along the border where drug and people smugglers enter the United States.

He said the only way to stop it is to have a solid concrete or steel structure to close off the open areas.

The border fence between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, as seen from Mexico Credit: Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP

On their first day in the majority, Democrats in the House of Representatives had passed a plan to reopen the US government without funding the wall.

The largely party-line votes came after Mr Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room pledging to keep up the fight for his signature campaign promise.

President Donald Trump listens as Vice President Mike Pence speaks in the Rose Garden Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Mr Trump and Senate Republicans should “take yes for an answer” and approve the border bill, which was virtually identical to a plan the Senate adopted on a voice vote last month.

“We’re not doing a wall.

“Does anyone have any doubt that we’re not doing a wall?” Ms Pelosi told reporters at a news conference on Thursday night.

Ms Pelosi, who was elected speaker earlier on Thursday, also took a shot at Mr Trump, calling his proposal “a wall between reality and his constituents”.