Shutdown could go on "months or even years"

Steamtown National Historic Site remains temporarily closed due to government shutdown in Scranton, Pa., on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. President Donald Trump said his Homeland Security officials will "make a plea" for the border wall with Mexico during a briefing for congressional leaders Wednesday at the White House as the partial government shutdown over his demand for wall funding entered its 12th day. (Jake Danna Stevens/The Times-Tribune via AP)

(WASHINGTON) -Sinclair Broadcast Group

A day of intense and contentious negotiations at the White House on Friday marked the two-week point of a government shutdown.

Leaders from both sides sat down with President Trump for roughly two hours, looking for a solution.

However, even after lengthy press conferences from all involved, it was somewhat unclear how much closer they could be toward a solution.

"I'm very proud of doing what I'm doing,” said President Trump. “I don't call it a shutdown. I call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and for the safety of our country."

He’s still demanding money for a border wall even saying, if need be he could build without congressional approval by calling it a national emergency but that’s not his preference.

“How do you define progress in a meeting,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, asked rhetorically. “When you have a better understanding of each other’s positions. When you eliminate some possibilities...if that’s a judgement than yes, we made some progress.”

Democrats though say ultimately there can’t be real negotiating unless the shutdown ends. And for that, there’s no clear date.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, added “we told the president we needed the government open, he resisted. In fact, he said he’d keep the government closed a very long time, months or even years.”

There was no confusion though about that part of the meeting. Asked if he made that comment, President Trump replied "I did say that. Absolutely, I said that. I don't think it will but I am prepared.”

Meanwhile, top representatives from the White House and both parties have agreed to work throughout the weekend and look for more common ground. Vice President Pence will oversee those talks.

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