WASHINGTON — President Trump says he'll make a ‘‘major announcement’’ on the government shutdown and the southern border on Saturday afternoon as the standstill over his border wall continues.
The White House did not immediately provide details on Friday about what the president would be announcing, but a person familiar with the planning said Trump planned to outline a new deal with specific proposals that the administration believes could potentially pave the way to the shutdown’s end. The person was not authorized to discuss the announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The move — on Day 28 of a shutdown that has left hundreds of thousands of federal workers without paychecks — represents the first major overture by the president since Jan. 8, when he delivered an Oval Office address making the public case for his border wall. The president and his aides have said he will not budge on his demand for $5.7 billion for his border wall. Democrats have panned the offer and said they will not negotiate until the government reopens.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to discuss what Trump might propose but said he was ‘‘going to continue looking for the solution’’ to end what the administration had repeatedly referred to as a ‘‘humanitarian and national security crisis at the border.’’ While few would argue that a humanitarian crisis is unfolding as the demand for entry by migrants and the Trump administration’s hardline response overwhelm border resources, critics say Trump has badly exaggerated the security risks.
The Friday evening announcement came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday canceled her plans to travel by commercial plane to visit US troops in Afghanistan, saying Trump had caused a security risk by talking about the trip. The White House said there was no such leak.