WASHINGTON (AP)– White House officials and congressional staffers will continue settlements Saturday over the federal government shutdown, even after President Donald Trump declared he could keep it opting for “months or perhaps years.”

Trump satisfied Friday with congressional leaders from both parties as the shutdown struck the two-week mark in the middle of a deadlock over his demand for billions of dollars for a border wall with Mexico. Democrats emerged from the meeting, which both sides said was controversial at times, to report little if any development.

Trump has designated Vice President Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and advisor Jared Kushner to work with a congressional delegation at a conference set for 11 a.m. Saturday.

Trump is framing the upcoming weekend talks as development, while Democrats are emphasizing households unable to pay costs.

The standoff has prompted financial jitters and stress and anxiety amongst some in Trump’s own celebration. But he appeared Friday in the Rose Garden to frame the weekend talks as development, while making clear he would not resume the federal government.

” We will not be opening until it’s resolved,” Trump stated. “I don’t call it a shutdown. I call it doing what you need to provide for the benefit and the safety of our country.”

Trump said he could declare a national emergency to build the wall without congressional approval, but would initially try a “negotiated process.” Trump previously described the situation at the border as a “nationwide emergency” prior to he dispatched active-duty troops in what critics explained as a pre-election stunt.

Trump also stated the numerous thousands of federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay would want him to “keep going” and defend border security. Asked how people would manage without a financial safety net, he stated, “The safeguard is going to be having a strong border due to the fact that we’re going to be safe.”

Democrats called on Trump to reopen the federal government while negotiations continue. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated, “It’s really tough to see how development will be made unless they open the government.”

Friday’s White House conference with Trump included eight congressional leaders– the leading two Democrats and Republicans of both chambers. People familiar with the session however not licensed to speak publicly explained Trump as holding forth at length on a variety of subjects but said he made clear he was company in his need for $5.6 billion in wall funding and in turning down the Democrats’ request to resume the federal government.

Trump verified that he independently informed Democrats the shutdown could drag out for months or years, though he stated he hoped it would not last that long. Said Trump, “I hope it does not go on even beyond a couple of more days.”

Home Democrats muscled through legislation Thursday night to fund the government however not Trump’s proposed wall. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has actually stated those steps are non-starters on his side of the Capitol without the president’s assistance.

A variety of techniques are being drifted inside and outside the White House, amongst them trading wall financing for a deal on immigrants given the country as youths and now here illegally, or using a nationwide emergency declaration to construct the wall. While Trump explained during his press conference that talk on DACA (the Deferred Action for Youth Arrivals program) would need to wait which he was trying to work out with Congress on the wall, the conversations highlighted rising Republican anxiety about just how to leave the shutdown.

Some GOP senators up for re-election in 2020, including Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of Maine, have actually voiced pain with the shutdown in current days.

But with staff level talks there is always an open question of whether Trump’s assistants are totally empowered to negotiate for the president. Previously today, he rejected his own administration’s deal to accept $2.5 billion for the wall. That proposal was made when Pence and other leading authorities consulted with Schumer at the start of the shutdown.

Throughout his free-wheeling session with reporters, Trump also wrongly declared that he ‘d never required the wall to be concrete. Trump did so repeatedly during his campaign, explaining a wall of pre-cast concrete areas that would be greater than the walls of a lot of his rally venues. He duplicated that guarantee simply days back.

” An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media. Some areas will be all concrete but the specialists at Border Patrol prefer a Wall that is see through (consequently making it possible to see what is occurring on both sides). Makes good sense to me!” he tweeted Dec. 31.

Trump was joined by Pence in the Rose Garden, along with Home Republican politician leaders Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise. McConnell, who went back to the Capitol, unaware of journalism conference, said it was encouraging that the White Home officials and the congressional contingent would meet over the weekend “to see if they can reach a contract and then punt it back to us for last indication off.”

Schumer said that if McConnell and Senate Republicans stay on the sidelines, “Trump can keep the government shut down for a very long time.”

” The president requires an intervention,” Schumer said. “And Senate Republicans are simply the best ones to step in.”

Adding to national worry about the shutdown are financial jitters as analysts caution of the dangers of closures that are interrupting federal government operations across numerous departments and agencies at a time of other unpredictabilities in the stock market and foreign trade.


Associated Press writers Alan Fram, Mary Clare Jalonick, Laurie Kellman, Kevin Freking, Matthew Daly, Deb Riechmann and Eileen Putman contributed to this report.

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