Trump says shutdown could continue 'for years'

Closed-door meeting between Trump and congressional leaders ends without results.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Trump meets Democratic leaders
Trump meets Democratic leaders

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said on Friday that President Donald Trump had threatened to keep the government closed for "months or even years" until he gets his desired wall funding.

Schumer made the remarks following a closed-door meeting at the White House with Trump and congressional leaders in an attempt to end the government shutdown, The Hill reported.

Emerging from the White House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) described a "lengthy and sometimes contentious conversation with the president." She said both sides agreed to continue talks but added that Democrats don't believe the standoff is resolved until the government is re-opened.

"We cannot resolve this until we open up government," Pelosi said.

That sentiment was echoed by Schumer, who said "it's very hard to see how progress will be made unless they open up the government."

Trump had a different view of the meeting, saying the group came “a long way” during the meeting.

“I thought it was really a very, very good meeting. We’re all on the same path” toward reopening the government, Trump said, according to The Hill.

The President confirmed he said the shutdown could continue for months or years.

“I did. Absolutely I said that,” said Trump, but expressed hopes that the stalemate could end sooner.

On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed legislation to end the partial government shutdown, but the measures appear to be dead on arrival in the Senate and have been rejected by Trump, who is demanding $5 billion in funding for the wall on the Mexican border.

Democrats have rejected providing money for Trump’s wall and the measures approved on Thursday night do not include the funding he has demanded.

Trump said Friday he has appointed a group to negotiate a solution to the shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said after the meeting that Trump will “designate his top people” to negotiate with congressional leaders this weekend to find a way to end the government shutdown.

“The news is that the president agreed to designate his top people to sit down with all the leaders’ staffs this weekend to see if we could come up with an agreement to recommend back to us — both to him and to the various leaders,” McConnell told reporters after returning from the White House meeting.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)