WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said he is prepared to ignore a bicameral, bipartisan committee report on border security if lawmakers fail to include funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“If they don’t have a wall, I don’t even want to waste my time reading what they have, because it’s a waste of time,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Thursday.
Trump’s remarks come as members huddle to discuss border security measures ahead of Feb. 15, the day a stopgap measure to fund the government ends.
The president has previously said that if $5.7 billion for a wall is not allocated, he will either declare a national emergency or allow the government to partially shut down again.
Trump expressed doubt that the committee, which met for the first time on Wednesday, will emerge with a deal that he would accept.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated as much earlier in the day, stating during a press conference that the committee’s Democrats will float a series of security enhancements, but not wall funds.
“There’s not going to be any wall money in the legislation,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.
Trump said that Pelosi was “playing games” and that anything without a commitment to a wall simply won’t work.
Directing his ire at the speaker, Trump also said that Pelosi would be “begging” for a wall if a fence near Tijuana is removed.
“She will say ‘Mr. President, please, please give us a wall,’ ” Trump said.