President Trump Just Used a White House Press Briefing to Double Down on Funding for the Wall

The government shutdown is in its 13th day.

Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump made his first presidential appearance at the White House briefing room podium on Thursday afternoon to continue to insist on border wall funding amid a partial government that has lasted 13 days so far.

The president was joined by officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol—agencies where many employees are currently working without pay due to lack of federal funding—to champion his cause.

Here’s how Art Del Cueto, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, put it:

“We are all affected by this shutdown; we have skin in the game. However, it comes down to border security, and we are extremely grateful to President Trump and we fully support what he is doing,” he said. “It has nothing to do with political parties. You all got to ask yourself this question: ‘If I come to your home, do you want me to knock on the front door or do you want me to climb through that window?'”

The shutdown persists because of an impasse between the president and Democrats in Congress over border security funding: Trump has insisted on $5.6 billion in funding, while Democrats won’t go above $1.3 billion. Congressional leaders have been formally invited to the White House on Friday for another round of funding discussions.

“We need protection in our country, we’re going to make it good—the people of our country want it,” said Trump. Despite a recent poll that says more Americans blame the president for the shutdown than blame congressional Democrats, the president showered praise on himself: “I have never had so much support as I have had in the last week over my stance for border security, border control, and for frankly, the wall or the barrier.”

Trump refused to take questions at the end of the press briefing.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.