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US President Donald Trump has said he is considering declaring a national emergency to get a wall built on the southern border of the US.
Mr Trump's comments came after he and Democratic leaders failed to strike a deal in sometimes combative talks to end the partial shutdown of the US Government.
Emerging after more than two hours of talks as the shutdown hit the two-week mark, Mr Trump told reporters he could use executive authority to build the border wall, but wanted to try to negotiate it with Congress.
"I can do it if I want. We can call a national emergency. I may do it."
And he confirmed he had told top Democrats he was prepared to extend the shutdown for years if needed.
"I did say that," he said.
"Absolutely I said that. I don't think it will [last for years] but I am prepared."
The two sides are fighting over Mr Trump's request for $US5 billion to fund his signature wall on the Mexican border.
Mr Trump said he had designated a team that would meet over the weekend with politicians to resolve the standoff.
About 800,000 federal workers have been affected by the December 22 closure of about one-quarter of the federal Government.
Mr Trump is withholding his support for new funding until he secures the money he wants to start building the wall.
The wall was a signature campaign promise of Mr Trump's during the 2016 election campaign, when he repeatedly said he would force Mexico to pay for its construction.
Such a wall, he has argued, is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs over the southwestern border.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who was among those meeting with the President, said Mr Trump had threatened to keep the Government closed "for a very long period of time".
Senator Schumer said his party's leaders "told the President we needed the Government open — he resisted".
"In fact, he said he'd keep the Government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years," Senator Schumer said.
The new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, called it a "lengthy and sometimes contentious" meeting.
"We cannot resolve this until we open up Government," she said.
Before the meeting, Mr Trump sent a letter to Congress to try to gain support for his wall, suggesting he was unlikely to budge on his funding demands.
"Walls work. That's why rich, powerful and successful people build them around their homes," Mr Trump wrote in his letter.
"All Americans deserve the same protection."
Ms Pelosi has sought to separate the issue of the wall and Government funding, and called on Mr Trump and his fellow Republicans in the Senate to reopen agencies as border talks continue.
"The wall and the Government shutdown really have nothing to do with each other," said Ms Pelosi, who has rejected any funding for what she has called an "immoral" border wall.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that even though the new Congress had convened with the Democrats holding a majority in the House of Representative, "the basic steps that are needed to end this unfortunate standoff really haven't changed at all".
Earlier, Mr Trump responded to rumblings of a move by Democrats to impeach him, tweeting that he was too successful and popular to be impeached.
How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?
"How do you impeach a president who … had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history," Mr Trump tweeted.
"They only want to impeach me because they know they can't win in 2020, too much success!"
The President was responding after Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib riled up a supportive crowd by using a swear word to describe Mr Trump and predicting he would be removed from office, just hours after she took her seat in Congress.
Mr Trump launched back, saying: "You can't impeach somebody doing a great job."
He added Ms Tlaib had "dishonoured herself and dishonoured her family" with the remarks.
"I thought is was highly disrespectful to the United States of America," the President said.
House Speaker Ms Pelosi has been cautious about whether her new Democratic majority would ever impeach Mr Trump, but at least two of her members are ready to move forward.
California Representative Brad Sherman and Texas Representative Al Green introduced articles of impeachment against Mr Trump on Thursday, the first day of the new Congress.
Mr Sherman and Mr Green pushed to impeach Mr Trump in 2017 and 2018 but the House blocked those resolutions twice, with the help of Democrats who said the effort was premature.
Ms Pelosi has not ruled out impeachment but has called it a "divisive activity" that needs support from both parties.
She and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler have said they want to wait for the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Mr Trump campaign before making a judgement.
In our system, we hold presidential elections every four years. Obviously, the jockeying amongst potential candidates in the party out of power can be chaotic (see: Is it 2020 yet? ), but the primary elections sort that out by choosing a candidate to run in the general election.
Yes, a Republican can choose to run for the party's nomination over a sitting president. Reagan tries against Gerald Ford, but came up short, and the RINO Never Trumpers on the Right are conspiring to run someone against President Trump in 2020. No Republican has thrown their hat in the ring, and I doubt Ted Cruz would. If he did, I would continue to support President Trump based solely on his sterling performance in office. Obviously, circumstances can change, but at this moment, he has my vote.
Should the GOP nominate Trump for re-election, a RINO might still run against him in the 2020 General Election, but he would have to do so as a Third Party candidate. His chances of winning would be nil, but he would likely guarantee a Democrat in the White House in 2021 (Think Ross Perot or Ralph Nader).
Yes, and in the face of Democrat obstruction as Americans die at the hands of illegals, I hope that he will . . .
In a press conference yesterday, President Trump tossed out two tasty nuggets regarding the ongoing government kinda-sorta shutdown and the border wall.
One: After a closed-door meeting between the president and Democrat higher-ups, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer ran crying to the media, tattling that Trump said "he'd keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years." Reporters then flocked to Trump, doubtless hoping for shamefaced equivocation.
Trump later confirmed in the Rose Garden, "Absolutely I said that," while clarifying he hopes the partial shutdown doesn't last more than a few more days. He said it could be opened "very quickly" if they come to an agreement on the wall.
"We can call a national emergency [to build a border wall] because of the security of our country," Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden, during a lengthy and impromptu press conference.
"I may do it," he said, before adding, "If we can do it through a negotiated process, we're giving it a shot."
The Washington Post exemplifies the tenor of the MSM reaction, shrieking about "a rambling hour long news conference" and "little empathy" from the president for the Transportation Security Administration. Seriously, the WaPo assigned three whole reporters to sob to Americans over the grope-happy TSA:
Real-life consequences of the shutdown are already beginning to seep in. In one example Friday, union leaders said hundreds of Transportation Safety Administration workers at major airports nationwide are off the job because they can't afford to get to work, although a TSA spokesman said the absences aren't enough to affect airport security operations. Millions of Americans also face delayed tax refunds and cuts to food stamps if the standoff drags into February.
This is the best they can do to frame a "shutdown apocalypse" narrative: airport security operating as normal and the prospect of some people maybe perhaps possibly "facing" "delayed" tax refunds – which is to say the government will hold the people's money hostage, interest-free, for even longer, or else hold off on sending out Earned Income Tax Credit welfare giveaways.
Trump's "national emergency" comment looks like an offhand remark. As an indicator of practical policy, it probably doesn't mean much. But it speaks volumes about Trump's superior understanding of the country's political landscape, inextricably intertwined with its entertainment landscape.
Here are three things Trump understands about most Americans that the exploding-head liberal media don't:
I think our president should challenge Congress to impeach him - literally insuring that the will. A Republican House impeached Bill Clinton for lying under oath - a felony. The Democrats say they'd impeach Trump for Obstruction of Justice for firing a man (James Comey) who served at his pleasure. Good luck with that. Ask the Left how impeaching Bubba worked out for them.
He's playing them like a fiddle and it's a beautiful thing to watch . . .
Now that voters have handed them control of the House of Representatives, Democrats are forced to reveal who they are to the national electorate, and it ain't pretty. The party has more than its share of bizarre eccentrics, able to win a local election in a deep blue district, and they are feeling their oats. They thrive on media attention, which they get because they are colorful and young and say radical things that excite progressive journalists.
But money and power remain in the hands of the gerontocracy branch of the party, headed by Nancy Pelosi, the shrewd power player who learned her craft at the knee of the political boss of Baltimore, her father, Tommy D'Alesandro, who knew a few things about money, power, and deal-making.
Her first speech as speaker of the House this term feigned stately grace (calling the Capitol a "temple of democracy," for instance) and bipartisanship fairly effectively, and she brought her grandkids to the podium at one point. However, her disturbing quirks as a public speaker were all too evident, even as she read her prepared speech.
Listen to the bizarre giggles she cannot repress as she is being applauded.
Anger and downright hatred for the sitting president of the United States powers most of the 40 newly elected members of the House Democratic Caucus, along with many veterans, including "Mad Max" Maxine Waters, slated to become chair of the House Financial Services Committee and very publicly committed to impeachment. Pelosi is shrewd enough to realize that impeachment without a smoking gun would be a disaster for Democrats, but that won't stop the Trump-haters, who believe they have momentum and support of the party's faithful. Eleven-term veteran Congressman Brad Sherman, of Ventura County, California, has already introduced articles of impeachment, and that's just the beginning of the ordeal Pelosi will have trying to rein in her crazies.
Those crazies include another media darling, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who chose Palestinian garb in which to take the oath of office, no doubt simultaneously pleasing the 19% of the American public that chooses to support the Palestinians over Israel, as well as the Republican Jewish Coalition. (See what I mean about the clown show now?)
Grabien screen grab.
Perhaps because the Koran commands women to be modest, Rep. Tlaib eschewed sharia-compliant garb and wore more conventional clothing to tell her supporters (to wild cheers), "We're gonna go in and impeach the motherfucker."
If anything it would force Mueller to piss or get off the pot!
Or by focusing the American voters' attention, expose the Democrats and their agenda of irrational hate and hypocrisy . . .
We will survive two years of a Democrat controlled House of Representatives, but there will be casualties . . .