President Donald Trump said during a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte that he would have "no problem" with a government shutdown if border security measures are left unfunded.
"If we don't get border security, after many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown," the president said.
Before taking questions, Trump talked at length about how he and Conte are focused on protecting their countries from terrorism and uncontrolled migration.
"Our countries have learned through hard experience that border security is national security. They are one and the same," he said.
Trump mentioned Conte's "tough" stance on immigration and applauded his "bold leadership," saying he hopes more European leaders follow his example.
"My administration is working hard to pass border security legislation, improve vetting, and establish a merit-based immigration system, which the United States needs very, very importantly, very badly," Trump said.
He then claimed the United States is the "laughing stock of the world" with "the worst immigration laws."
Later, Trump was asked if he would be willing to shut down the government if Congress does not fully fund his border wall and other immigration priorities.
Trump said he is always open to negotiation and does not draw a red line on the wall funding, but he reiterated that a government shutdown is a possibility.
The president's comments about the possibility of a government shutdown reflect those he made Sunday on Twitter.
"I would be willing to ‘shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!" Trump tweeted.
Published under: Illegal Immigration , Immigration , President Trump