On the ninth day of the partial government shutdown, Donald Trump claimed former president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama have a 10-foot wall around their house in Washington D.C. and America needs the “same thing” only “slightly larger.”
The president took to Twitter on Sunday to compare a brick fence around the Obamas’ mansion to the border wall, further fuelling his demands for $5 billion worth of funding to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“President and Mrs. Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound,” Trump tweeted. “I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security. The U.S. needs the same thing, slightly larger version!”
In 2017, TMZ reported that the Obamas were building a wall for their D.C. rental property for additional security. Early construction photos showed the red brick fence being built, although it is unclear how tall the completed version is.
The government went into a partial shutdown last Friday at midnight after Trump refused to sign a stop-gap measure to keep the government running through the New Year as it did not include funding for his proposed border wall — one of the president’s main promises during his campaign trail.
Trump’s demands for $5 billion worth of funding to construct the border wall has resulted in a stalemate as Democrats have refused to allocate more than $1.3 billion to border security measures. Sunday marked the ninth day of the shutdown with no leads as to how or when the issue would be resolved.
According to the Associated Press, Trump claimed Democrats have left the negotiating table, while Democrats have stated that the president has not directly contacted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in weeks.
After a private lunch with Trump on Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) told reporters that the president remains “firm in his commitment to make sure we get money for border security.”
“There’ll never be a deal that doesn’t have money for the physical barriers,” Graham said.
But Democrats senators have repeatedly asserted that they won’t relent or fund Trump’s border wall. Earlier this month, Senate Democrat Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) declared that Democrats are willing to wait until they take a majority in the House in January to settle the issue.
“I want to be crystal clear. There will be no additional appropriations to pay for the border wall. It’s done,” Schumer said.