Trump, Dems Maintain Stalemate Over Border Wall, Shutdown

US President Donald Trump holds a video call with US military service members in the Oval Office on Christmas morning in Washington, US Tuesday. "But other than that, I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas".

The stock market malaise comes with Trump refusing to sign a budget bill to keep the government funded as he demands $5 billion for a US-Mexico border wall - a pillar of his election platform.

The House and Senate had agreed on a deal last week to fund the government through February 8, when Trump reversed course and said he would veto any funding bill that didn't include wall funding.

"Many of those workers have said to me and communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall".

However, the Democrats - and some Republicans - have made clear they will not vote for Trump's cherished border wall. "I thought it would be wrong for me to be with my family, my family is in Florida, Palm Beach, and I just didn't want to go down and be there when other people are hurting", Trump explained on Tuesday - speaking presumably about his adult children, since first lady Melania Trump returned to the White House on Monday to spend the holiday with him. On Christmas Eve, Trump tweeted he was alone in the White House as he waited for Democrats to cave and give him his wall. In one call, Trump questioned a 7-year-old boy named Coleman's belief in Santa Claus.

The downturn has caused great uncertainty in the White House as Trump has sought someone to blame, and he has lashed out publicly at Powell. "We can't do it without a wall", he told reporters.

Mr Trump argued that Democrats oppose a wall only because he is for one.

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"I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security", he tweeted Monday.

In retaliation, Trump refused to sign a broader spending bill, triggering the stand-off that has left swathes of the United States government temporarily without funding.

Monday night, on Christmas Eve, the President complained, feeling sorry for himself perhaps, isolated and under pressure from critics and allies alike over what has been a specially tumultuous past few days, even by his standard - Syria withdrawal and resignation by defense secretary James Mattis. "They want border security".

Mulvaney said Trump was "willing to discuss a larger immigration solution", but he seemed cool to the possibility of offering citizenship to the "Dreamers", saying it was not a popular idea among many Republicans.

Trump chimed in from the White House, where he has relentlessly tweeted on a variety of issues while being cooped up in the mansion since Saturday, when the shutdown began.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said a counteroffer was presented over the weekend to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY, according to the Associated Press. Opponents have also noted previous efforts to strengthen the border that have been cheaper than building a wall. In some areas we have it as high as 30 feet.

Americans were split sharply along party lines both on the Trump's performance regarding immigration as well as who'd be to blame for the shutdown-while Democrats mostly laid the blame on Trump, Republicans would generally blame the Democratic lawmakers or "everyone equally", according to a December 16-18 YouGov poll (pdf).

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