Trump says shutdown could go for ‘years’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has declared he could keep parts of the government shut down for “months or even years” after he and democrat leaders again failed to resolve his demand for billions of dollars for a border wall with Mexico.

They did agree to a new round of weekend talks between staff members and White House officials.

Trump met in the White House Situation Room with congressional leaders from both parties as the shutdown hit the two-week mark amid an impasse over his wall demands. Democrats emerged from meeting, which both sides said was contentious at times, to report little if any progress.

Trump says he could declare a national emergency to build the wall without congressional approval, but would first try a “negotiated process.”

The Trump administration says it’s exploring ways to prevent a pay raise for senior White House staff and cabinet officials during the government shutdown.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the administration “is aware of the issue” and is “exploring options to prevent this from being implemented while some federal workers are furloughed.”

The raises are the result of a pay freeze for top federal officials that is expiring because of the shutdown. They were first reported by The Washington Post.

Trump had told reporters earlier in the day that he “might consider” asking cabinet secretaries and other top officials to forgo the raises. Vice President Mike Pence said he would.

President Donald Trump says he’s considered using executive authority to get a wall built on the southern border.

Trump told reporters Friday that he could officially declare a national emergency to build a border wall but wants to try to negotiate a border wall with Congress.

Trump said: “I can do it if I want. We can call a national emergency. I may do it.”

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