United States Donald Trump asserted that he is ready to keep the current government shutdown going for months or "even years."
Addressing the media here at the Rose Garden after a meeting with congressional leaders, Trump confirmed that he had mentioned during the meeting that he could keep the government closed for a very long period of time.
"Absolutely I said that. I don't think it will, but I'm prepared," CNN quoted Trump, as saying.
Furthermore, Trump said he was mulling over calling for a national emergency in order to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
"We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely. We can do it. I haven't done it, I may do it. I may do it, but we can call a national emergency and build it quickly, it's another way of doing it," he said at the presser.
Earlier he had tweeted:
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was quoted by The Hill saying that Trump is slated to designate select officials to hold discussions with congressional leaders in order to find a way to end the government shutdown, which is currently in the 14th day (Friday).
The House Democrats, on their first day in office, had voted on a legislative package to reopen the government, rejecting Trump's call for additional funding to build a wall on their border with Mexico.
Furthermore, the new House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, slammed Trump's wall proposal as a "waste of money" and "immorality".
The partial shutdown was triggered due to a stalemate between the White House and lawmakers over Trump's demand for billions of dollars to fund his proposed border wall.
As per local media in the US, the shutdown has led scores of individuals to work sans any kind of remuneration.