The government is STILL shut down
A reporter just asked President Trump if he has considered using emergency powers to build his wall without Congressional approval and necessary funds.
"Yes, I have. And I can do it if I want," Trump claimed.
The reporter asked if that means he doesn't need Congressional approval to build the wall, then.
"Absolutely," Trump said. "We can call a national emergency. I haven't done it. I may do it. I may do it. We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly. It's another way of doing it."
Asked if that was a threat to Democrats, Trump replied, "I never threaten anybody, but I am allowed to do it -- call a national emergency."
CNN's Kaitlan Collins pressed President Trump on how he can say he's not failing on delivering his campaign promise to build a concrete wall and have Mexico pay for it.
He noted that "steel is stronger than concrete."
"I know you're not into the construction business, you don’t understand something. We now have a great steel business," he told Collins.
Trump then touting the steel industry's growth under his administration.
"If I build a wall and the wall is made out of steel instead of concrete I think people will like that… I’ll have it done by companies in our country that are now powerful great companies again," he said.
Trump did not explain any justification for shutting down the government over border wall funding.
Asked if he was proud about owing the shutdown, as he said he would be in early December, President Trump said he's "very proud of doing what I'm doing."
President Trump, speaking to reporters, said he wouldn't reopen the government until the dispute over border security is solved.
Asked why he won't reopen the government to create more space to have a broader conversation on border security, Trump said, "We're not going to do that. We won't be doing pieces. We won't be doing it in drips and drabs."
Watch it here:
President Trump, now taking reporters' questions, confirmed that he told top Democrats he was prepared to let the partial government shutdown -- in which up to 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed and are going without pay -- for months or years.
"I did. I did," Trump emphatically said.
He continued: "I don't think it will but I think I can speak for Republicans in the Senate and Republicans in the House -- they feel very strongly about having a safe country, about having a border that makes sense...I hope it doesn't go on even beyond a few more days. It really could open very quickly."
Though Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that President Trump suggested the shutdown could go on for months or years, Trump seemed to express some optimism at the weekend working group's potential to end the standoff.
"I'm going to ask Mike Pence put together a team of people who will work over the weekend... on the border, different things having to do with border security, including at the ports of entry," he said.
"The Democrats really want to do something," Trump said, noting the $5.6 billion number.
He added: "What we want to do has to be done properly."
President Trump continued his pitch for a border wall, citing coyotes and human trafficking as examples of dangers at the US-Mexico border.
"The only way you're going to stop that is by having a solid steel structure or concrete structure, whether it’s a wall or some form of very powerful steel," Trump said, speaking from the White House Rose Garden.
He noted that steel is "more expensive," but "I think we’re probably talking about steel."
Trump also added that "previous presidents" told him "that we should have done it," though he didn't name which ones.