President Trump on Sunday said that he gets no pleasure from shutting down the government but felt duty-bound to do it to protect the country.
“I don’t like doing this. I have no fun doing this. I was elected to protect our country. That’s what I’m doing,” said the president.
The partial government shutdown continued for a 16th day as the president and Capitol Hill Democrats remained in a standoff over his demand for $5.6 billion for border security, including a barrier or wall on the southern border.
“This shutdown can end tomorrow. It’s really dependent on the Democrats,” said Mr. Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said a border wall is “immoral.” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Mr. Trump shut down the government in a “temper tantrum” over not getting his way.
Mr. Trump said he expected “very serious” talks this week that could break the impasse.
“Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and myself could solve this in 20 minutes if they want to. If they don’t want to it’s going to go on for a long time,” he said as he left the White House for Camp David.