US President Donald Trump hammered Sunday his willingness to build the wall on the border with Mexico, while the “shutdown”, a partial paralysis of the federal government, entered its third week.
Insisting that he had “huge support” in the Republican party, Trump hinted he would not give in on this point in the difficult budget negotiations under way.
“We have to build the wall,” he said from the White House gardens. “This is the security of our country (…) We have no choice,” he added.
“This shutdown could end tomorrow or could last a long time, it really depends on the Democrats,” he said before flying to Camp David, where he must spend the day with his main advisers.
The Democrats, who have regained control of the House of Representatives after the mid-term elections, repeat that they are opposed to funding this wall they consider “immoral”, expensive and ineffective.
The “shutdown” negotiations – the ritual of American politics – are first and foremost a communication battle in which each party tries to blame the other for blocking.
The US president also repeated that he was ready for the wall he promised during his election campaign to be made of steel and not concrete, if it would unblock the negotiations with his political opponents.
Trump, who made the fight against illegal immigration one of his hobby horses, said Friday he was ready for this partial paralysis of the federal administration to last several months, or even more than a year.
Some 800,000 civil servants are affected by this shutdown. Among them, officers in charge of aviation security for the administration of transport safety as well as FBI agents. Museums, crowded with tourists, have been forced to close as garbage piles up in national parks.