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.
"A very nice question so beautifully asked," he said dismissively. "I just told you that we just made a trade deal," he said, calling the $5.6 billion for the wall "peanuts" compared to the revenue the trade deal will generate.
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."
"Well, you know, I appreciate the way you say that but once -- I'm very proud of doing what I'm doing. I don't call it a shutdown. I call it doing what you have to do for benefit and for the safety of our country. ...So can you call it whatever you want. You can call it the Schumer or the Pelosi or the trump shutdown, it doesn't make any difference to me. Just words," Trump said.
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."
"We think it can go very quickly. We won't be opening until it's solved. We think this is a much bigger problem. The border is a much more dangerous problem. It's a problem of national security. It's a problem of terrorist. I talk about human traffickers, I talk about drugs and gangs but a lot of people don't say we have terrorists coming through the southern border because they find that's probably the easiest place to come through. They drive right in and make a left. Not going to happen," the President said.
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.
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.
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."
"We mentioned the price that we want, $5.6 billion very strongly, these numbers are thrown around... This is national security we're talking about. We’re not talking about games. We’re talking about national security," he said.
Trump also added that "previous presidents" told him "that we should have done it," though he didn't name which ones.
Speaking to reporters as he returned from the border security meeting at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said they had a “spirited discussion as you can imagine."
McConnell said staffers will meeting this weekend to discuss the shutdown.
“I would say the news is that the President agreed to designate his top people to sit down with all the leaders’ staffs this weekend to see if we can come up an agreement to recommend back to us, the various leaders,” McConnell said.
He continued: “The government couldn’t reopen until Tuesday anyhow because we don’t have people here to vote” he added, since both chambers of Congress gaveled out of session this afternoon and will return on Tuesday.
“But that’s at least encouraging in the sense that if the other Democratic leaders’ staffs agree to meet, we’ll at least have a working group of people who know the most about this subject to see if they can reach an agreement and then punt it back to us for final sign off," McConnell said.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who spoke at the White House driveway with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, did not answer questions about whether his staff would participate in these talks over the weekend.
President Donald Trump kicked off his remarks in the Rose Garden by noting that he had a “productive meeting” with Senate leadership and “came a long way.”
“I thought it was really a very good meeting. Were all on the same path in terms of wanting the government open,” Trump said.
The President added that a designated group will meet over the weekend “to determine what we’re going to do about the border.”
He did not say who was a part of the designated group.
That's a slightly rosier assessment than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's summary, who described it as "sometimes contentious" but admitted progress was made -- though she described it as better understanding each other and eliminating some possibilities.