This was also the first time he had said that replacing old fencing would count, in his mind, toward his central campaign promise of building a "big lovely wall" on the U.S. -Mexico border. Vice President Mike Pence is said to have proposed $2.1 billion for new border barriers in an offer to Democrats, along with $400 million for other Trump immigration priorities. "But other than that, I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas", the President said as he fielded reporters' questions after talking with members of the armed forces.
The president and first lady Melania Trump also sent Christmas greetings to Americans across the USA on Christmas Day.
During a televised December 11 meeting with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, Trump had said he would be "proud to shut down the government for border security" but has since shifted the blame to Democrats.
Trump made these remarks while taking questions from reporters during a briefing with USA military leaders shortly after landing in Iraq.
Both sides in the fight over President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico have given a little on the money. We're gonna have safety.
In a nod to the political stakes he has been facing, Mr Trump said he wants the wall by "election time" in 2020.
On day five of a partial government shutdown, negotiations among Democrats, Republicans and the White House appear to be going nowhere.
Lawmakers are away from Washington for the holidays and have been told they will get 24 hours' notice before having to return for a vote.
Richard Sherman has no regrets about 49ers' sideline scrum with Bears
The 49ers finally got a takeaway. "We know what kind of player [Robinson] is, and he rarely makes mistakes like that". But CB Tarvarius Moore punched the all out from behind and the Niners had the ball down 14-9 with 1:52 remaining.
The US President did not say how he was hearing from federal workers, excluding those he appointed to their jobs or who work with him in the White House.
Mr Trump claimed that many of these workers "have said to me and communicated "stay out until you get the funding for the wall".
Some congressional estimates predicted an additional 380,000 federal employees would be furloughed from the shutdown, meaning they must take a leave of absence, bringing the total number of affected workers to around 800,000.
Trump said it was unclear when Democrats would allow the government to reopen. Workers deemed non-essential will be furloughed, while "essential" workers will be required to report to their jobs, but with no guarantee of a paycheck.
"It's a disgrace what's happening in our country".
"I think our borders need to be more secure to an extent, yes".
Donald Trump marked December 25 by going on TV to issue a rambling, vitriolic rant aimed at fired former FBI Director James Comey and the Democrats. "It creates a real crisis for them to even have their pay shut off for short period of time", he says.
Although Trump had said he would be "proud" to shut down the government until the wall could be fully funded, he has since tried to shift the blame to Democrats - specifically for not supporting a House-passed bill that includes $5 billion for the funding wall.