Trump threatens to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his wall

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to rant about his call for a border wall with Mexico, using the threat of a government shutdown to push for it.

Trump also pushed back against reports that his Chief of Staff John Kelly said to members of Congress and Fox News that Trump had “evolved” on the wall issue, which had been an “uninformed” campaign promise. Kelly said a border wall would not stretch from “sea to shining sea.”

“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it,” Trump tweeted. “Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water.”

Noting that the re-authorization of DACA protections for the 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children — which Trump let expire last year — have become part of the negotiations for a short-term spending bill to fund the government, Trump threatened that there would be no deal on DACA (and therefore a bipartisan funding deal) if funding for the wall isn’t also included. The bill is needed to keep the government open past Friday.

“We need the Wall for the safety and security of our country. We need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico, now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world. If there is no Wall, there is no Deal!,” Trump tweeted.

While Democrats have been more receptive to funding for technological border security measures, they do not support new funding for the wall, and would vote against any short-term funding bill that includes it.

Trump also reiterated claims that Mexico would pay for the wall, and mentioned Mexico’s trade surplus with the U.S., possibly linking the border wall issue with his desire to renegotiate NAFTA — though his figures were incorrect.

“The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S.,” Trump tweeted. “The $20 billion dollar Wall is ‘peanuts’ compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!”