President Trump spoke to cameras ahead of a cabinet meeting Wednesday afternoon. At the end of his prepared statement, he answered one shouted question about the possibility of a government shutdown.
Democratic leader Chuck Schumer downplayed the chances of a shutdown on Tuesday, telling reporters: "We don't think we're going to get to that. There are good negotiations occurring between Democrats and Republicans to come up with a good DACA program, as well as some good border security."
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the border wall are some issues under negotiation.
The president said a shutdown "could happen" and blamed Democrats, claiming: "They want to have illegal immigrants pouring into the country, bringing with them crime."
"Democrats are really looking at something very dangerous for our country. They are looking at shutting down, they want to have illegal immigrants, in many cases people that we don't want in our country," Trump continued at the cabinet meeting. "We don’t want to have that, we want to have a great, beautiful, crime-free country."
President Trump is the only person talking about a government shutdown. Democrats are hopeful the President will be open to an agreement to address the urgent needs of the American people and keep government open.— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 6, 2017
QUESTION: Are we going to have a shutdown, Mr. President?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It could happen. The Democrats are really looking at something that is very dangerous for our country. They are looking at shutting down. They want to have illegal immigrants, in many cases people that we don't want in our country -- they want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime. We don't want to have that. We want to have a great, beautiful crime-free country.
And we want people coming into our country. But we want them to come on our basis, and that's why we're being so careful with our process and our screening.
And as you know, we had a tremendous victory the other day in the Supreme Court with the ban. Got quite a bit of attention, probably not as much of attention as it deserved, but we had tremendous -- that was a tremendous victory for this country. Not a victory for me; it was a victory for our country.
So the Democrats may be will want to shutdown the country because they want people flowing into our country. And I want people coming into our country, but I want to vet those people, and I want to vet them very carefully, because we don't want to have a radical Islamic terrorism in this country, and we don't want to have crime in this country.
You look at what just happened in San Francisco. That was a disgrace. And as you know, the federal government just got involved, and did a great thing, because they're going to take that at least to the next step. They did a great thing by getting involved.