'I can't tell you when' government will reopen

"It's stressful for staff, it's stressful for inmates, and the government shutdown and not knowing if you're going to get a paycheck in a couple of weeks is an unneeded stress", he said. "As soon as I said they want to build the wall, they were all against it", he said.

'Including (expected House of Represetatives leader) Nancy Pelosi, until i fired him, and once I fired him everybody said "Oh why did you fire him, why did you fire him?"

In a Christmas Day appearance in the Oval Office (local time), Mr Trump issued a long defence of his desire for a wall, saying it was the only way to deter criminal elements such as stopping drugs and human traffickers from entering the country.

"I'd like to see both parties come to some type of agreement and open the government back up". "I just didn't want to to go down and be there when other people are hurting".

Trump said it was unclear when Democrats would allow the government to reopen.

Trump's tweet was not taken well by many as they felt that the U.S. president was just throwing a tantrum.

'I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security, ' he tweeted.

The stalemate over how much to spend and how to spend it caused the partial government shutdown that began on Saturday following a lapse in funding for departments and agencies that make up about 25 per cent of the government. Hundreds of thousands of government employees have been put out of work by the dispute or are forced to do their jobs without pay.

Those being furloughed include 52,000 workers at the Internal Revenue Service and almost everyone at NASA.

On Friday afternoon, a Senate procedural vote showed that Republicans lacked the 60 votes they'd need to force the measure with the wall funding through their chamber. But Trump's public comments and tweets - including a reference to "shutdown money", which lit up social media but sowed new confusion - only added new murkiness to the talks. Trump argued that Democrats oppose a wall only because he is for one. "But it's all the same thing", he said of Democrats' preference to give him federal monies for border "fencing" rather than the concrete and steel wall on which he campaigned so hard in 2016.

He did say he envisions a wall so tall, "like a three-story building", that only an Olympic champion would be able to scale it.

He compared that to Democrats' approach to former FBI Director James B. Comey, whom Democrats had excoriated in recent years, only to lionize him when he began to take on Mr. Trump.

"It's a disgrace what's happening in our country but, other than that, I wish everybody a very merry Christmas", he said.

  • Jon Douglas