Citing France attack, Trump demands funding for border wall

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President Donald Trump says the military will build his promised border wall "if Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country".

Less than a day after a gunman shot up a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, President Trump used the news as pretext to issue fresh calls for a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Mr. Trump wants $5 billion for the wall while Democrats want to maintain overall border security funding at current levels, i.e., $1.3 billion, through the end (September 30, 2019) of the budget year.

Congress is seeking to finalise spending before some government funding expires on 21 December.

After the meeting, Pelosi revealed to Democrats that Trump had claimed in their private session that Mexico would pay for the wall - his oft-stated campaign promise that he has abandoned since taking office. "We are going to strengthen our borders even more".

Schumer argued that "one thing that I think we can agree on is we shouldn't shut down the government over a dispute".

"Let's hope that there won't be a shutdown of the government", Pelosi said. About 36 percent said he should not.

During their gripping televised spat, Trump told Schumer of a looming partial shutdown over his demands for a wall: 'You want to put that on [me], I'll take it'. Bill Foster has been part of a group of Democrats unwilling to back Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker unless there was a "clear succession plan" - as he called it - that paved the way for new leadership, which younger elected leaders have wanted.

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Pelosi told reporters later at the Capitol that she "didn't want to contradict the president again and again in front of the public".

Senior White House staff watched the melee from the corners of the room, among them Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly, immigration adviser Stephen Miller, and Shahira Knight, his legislative director.

Pelosi was the heavy favorite to become House Speaker for a second time after Democrats won at least 235 House seats - pending the final outcome of a disputed election in a North Carolina district - in last month's midterm elections, but some Democrats had called for change at the top of the caucus.

"This Trump shutdown, this temper tantrum that he seems to throw, will not get him his wall and will hurt a lot of people", said Mr Schumer. According to AP VoteCast, more voters this year opposed the border wall than supported it.

Numerous refugees and migrants have told Al Jazeera they are fleeing violence, poverty and political persecution.

The president contended that it could only pass if it met his demands for more funding for his proposed border wall along the USA southern border.

Trump has been threatening for months to partially close government unless he gets more money for the wall than Democrats have been willing to give him.