Donald Trump freezes pay for 2,100,000 federal workers amid shutdown

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General John Kelly, who leaves the administration on Wednesday after a rocky 18-month tenure, broke with the president on key areas during an intriguing exit interview with The Los Angeles Times newspaper. "The president still says "wall"-oftentimes frankly he'll say "barrier" or 'fencing, ' now he's tended toward steel slats", per Kelly".

Trump is holding out for billions in federal funds for a border wall between the US and Mexico, which Democrats have said they were intent on blocking.

On the eighth day of the partial government shutdown, Donald Trump invited Democrats to "come on over and make a deal on Border Security".

In a series of tweets on Friday, Trump again threatened to close the entire U.S. -Mexico border and cut aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador if Congress failed to give him money to fund the wall.

The president's series of tweets about the border riled up Rio Grande Valley congressmen, who quickly fired back, both on the president's preferred social media platform and in a prepared statement.

Trump visited San Diego in March to review border wall prototypes commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security, but he has not visited a Border Patrol station or USA port of entry. Democrats vowed to pass legislation restoring the government as soon as they take control of the House on Thursday, but that won't accomplish anything unless Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate go along with it.

'It is a silly semantic argument because people who just want to say wall, wall, wall, wanted to be a four-letter word, ' she said on 'Fox News Sunday'.

"Either we build (finish) the wall or we close the border", Trump said in a message posted on Twitter yesterday.

Asked about Mr Trump's border-closing threat, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador insisted it was an internal U.S. government matter. "This is only about the Dems not letting Donald Trump & the Republicans have a win".

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"You're talking about cutting off your arm", Avila said.

Groups representing federal employees said Trump's freeze comes as added insult with some 800,000 federal employees furloughed or working without pay as the shutdown looks set to continue into the new year.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have been negotiating with the Trump administration.

"Nancy Pelosi is only looking to protect her speakership but not protect our borders and that's why she's unwilling to negotiate with us and unwilling to make any type of a deal and unwilling to help do what is necessary", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on the CBS "This Morning" program.

A close congressional ally of Trump's on Friday sent a tweet suggesting more partisan confrontation lies ahead.

At least 56% of Americans oppose Trump's border wall idea, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released on Friday.

"Nancy Pelosi, in fairness, does not have the votes for the speakership yet", Mulvaney said. He also said the compromise should include changes in federal law to discourage people from trying to enter the US illegally.

"If demanding that all immigrants enter legally or apply for asylum in a safe and controlled environment at a consulate rather than at a border controlled by some of the most unsafe people in the world is not a 'reasonable rule, '" Horowitz concludes, "I'm not sure what is".

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