Saturday 5 January 2019 10:53 am

Donald Trump threatens to use executive power to build border wall as government shutdown talks continue


Sport and Business Reporter at City AM. Email: michael.searles@cityam.com

Sport and Business Reporter at City AM. Email: michael.searles@cityam.com

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US President Donald Trump has threatened to use his executive powers to force through his proposal for a border wall between the United States and Mexico with the government still in shutdown. 

A meeting will take place this weekend between a team of Democrats and trio of Republicans led by vice-president Mike Pence as they look to find a resolution to the shutdown.

On Friday, Trump met with house speaker Nancy Pelosi and democratic senate minority leader Chuck Schumer but they were unable to come to an agreement, with each party holding a different view on the progress that had been made.

Schumer categorised the meeting as "contentious" and claimed that Trump had threatened to keep the government in shutdown for months or even years if an agreement could not be reached. 

“We made a plea to the president once again: Don’t hold millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of workers hostage,” Schumer said.

Trump, though, declared that the talks had been "productive" but admitted he was willing to keep the majority of government closed for a lengthy period. 

The president said he was willing to use executive powers to order the creation of the wall if an agreement could not be reached through negotiations and was insistent on his demand for $5.6bn to fund it.  

“I think we’ve come a long way,” the US president said. “I think it’s going to be over with sooner than people think.

“We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly and it’s another way of doing it. But if we can do it through a negotiated process, we’re giving that a shot,” he said. “Is that a threat hanging over the Democrats? I’d never threaten anybody but I am allowed to do it.”

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