President Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that the Republican party remained united behind his border wall fight and blamed fake news.
“There was no discussion about anything other than solidarity, we want national security and border security for our country,” Trump told Breitbart.
The president and the vice president met with Senate Republicans for lunch to discuss the ongoing partial government shutdown, which is in its nineteenth day.
Senate Majority Leader McConnell joined the president as they spoke to reporters in Congress after the lunch.
“The president has accurately characterized the discussion at lunch, that we’re all behind the president and we think that border security is extremely important for this country,” McConnell said, thanking Trump for coming up to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Republicans.
Several Republican senators stood with the president while he spoke with reporters, including Sen. John Barrasso, Sen. John Thune, Sen. Joni Ernst, and Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Blaming fake news
Trump revealed that a couple of Republican senators discussed political strategy during the meeting, but insisted they were all unified.
“The fake news is the fake news, I just want to tell you that the Republicans are totally unified,” he said.
The president noted that politicians in Washington, DC, had been trying to get serious border security for 25 years, but had failed.
“We don’t give up, because we’re doing the right thing for our country,” Trump said.
Border wall plan suits reality
Senator Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said Trump’s proposal to increase border security through physical barriers “suits the reality on the ground” along the U.S.-Mexico border, according the Associated Press.
Speaking after Trump’s Oval Office address Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican said Trump’s plan “simply builds on earlier legislation” that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats supported in the past.
McConnell blamed the 18-day partial government shutdown on “Democrats’ refusal to negotiate” because of “partisan spite for the president.”
McConnell urged Democrats to “come to the table and help deliver a solution” to reopen the government.
Trump said in his speech that there is a “growing humanitarian and security crisis” at the southern border, although crossings have fallen in recent years. Trump said illegal immigration strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages.