FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Rose Garden after a meeting with U.S. Congressional leaders about the partial U.S. government shutdown and border security at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump plans visit the U.S. southern border on Thursday in the midst of a partial federal government shutdown triggered by his demand for funding for a wall along the border with Mexico.
“President @realDonaldTrump will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis,” White House spokesman Sarah Sanders said in a Twitter post on Monday.
She said details would be announced soon.
Large chunks of the federal government were shut down on Dec. 22 after lawmakers and the president hit an impasse over Trump’s demand that a bill to keep the federal government operational include money to help build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. About 800,000 government workers are either furloughed or working without pay.
On Sunday, Trump pledged not to bend in his demand for the wall but said the barrier could be made of steel instead of concrete as a potential compromise with Democrats who refuse to fund it.
Trump has argued the wall is necessary for national security and has tried to link terrorism to illegal immigration, without providing evidence, as justification for the plan.
Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Tim Ahmann; Editing by David Alexander and Jeffrey Benkoe