President Trump called the talks of a border wall “a waste of time” in a new interview, while further putting blame for gridlocks in Washington on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“I’ve actually always gotten along with her, but now I don’t think I will any more,” Trump told The New York Times in the interview to be published Friday. “I think she’s doing a tremendous disservice to the country. If she doesn’t approve the wall, the rest of it’s just a waste of money and time and energy because it’s desperately needed.”
“I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting our country very badly by doing what’s she doing and, ultimately, I think I’ve set the table very nicely,” the president added in the interview in the Oval Office, amid signs that he could be losing leverage in Congress as lawmakers race to avert another shutdown in the government.
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While asked by The Times about his plans to declare a national emergency to build the wall, Trump told the liberal paper: “I’ve set the table. I’ve set the stage for doing what I’m going to do.”
Lawmakers have cautioned that if Trump declares an emergency, future Democratic presidents might do the same for issues they favor that Congress derails. Some are reluctant to cede Congress’ constitutional power to control spending to any president, and many say there is no real border emergency.
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Democrats offered further details of their border security plan Thursday, unveiling a measure that would provide no wall funds. It would significantly boost spending for scanners at ports of entry, humanitarian aid for apprehended migrants, and new aircraft and ships to police the U.S.-Mexico border. It also would freeze the number of border patrol agents and block any wall construction in wildlife refuges along the border.
During the interview, Trump said the presidency is a “loser” financially.
“I lost massive amounts of money doing this job,” he told The Times. “This is not the money. This one of the great losers of all time. You know, fortunately, I don’t need money. This is one of the great losers of all time. But they’ll say that somebody from some country stayed at a hotel. And I’ll say, ‘Yeah.’ But I lose, I mean, the numbers are incredible.”
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He indicated to the Times he’s looking forward to run for reelection next year.
“I love this job,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.