Trump Challenges Reporter: Would You Sign Dems' Bills to End Shutdown If You Were President?

January 9, 2019

President Donald Trump challenged ABC reporter Jonathan Karl about what he would do if he were president after Karl asked him why he won't sign the bills that Democrats are proposing.

The government is on the 19th day of the partial shutdown as Congress and Trump remain at a standoff over funding for a border wall. Trump gave an Oval Office address Tuesday night arguing that there is a crisis along the southern border and that a physical barrier is necessary in order to secure it. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has called the wall "immoral" and pledged to oppose any funding for the wall.

In an attempt to resolve the shutdown and allow furloughed government workers to get back to work and receive a paycheck, Pelosi has proposed piecemeal legislation that would fund the various agencies aside from Department of Homeland Security.

Karl asked why Trump won't sign these other bills, which led Trump to challenge Karl and ask him if he would sign them if he were president.

"So why not sign the other bills so some of these workers can get paid?" Karl asked.

"Do you think I should do that?" Trump responded.

Karl said it was not his place to decide. Trump insisted he answer the question.

"I watch your one-sided reporting. Seriously, Jon, do you think I should just sign?" Trump asked.

"I'm saying that if you sign that these workers can start getting paid," Karl said.

"I'm asking you, would you do that if you were in my position? If you would do that you should never be in this position because you'd never get anything done," Trump said.

Trump expressed optimism Democrats and Republicans could reach a deal but said if they don't, he might declare a national emergency in order to build the wall without congressional approval. If Trump declared an emergency, it would most likely be challenged in court.