Donald Trump Says Opening The Government Was 'Not A Concession,' Continues To Push For Deal On Border Wall

President Donald Trump said Friday that reopening the government earlier in the day wasn't a concession to Democrats and that he still insists on building a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president seems to be caught between a rock and, well, a wall when it comes to pundits on both sides of the political aisle. Whereas Democrats say the president did, in fact, concede, some on the right said Trump caved to the Democrats. The president insists that didn't happen.

Friday marked the 35th day of the partial government shutdown, and Trump said he will support a stopgap spending bill — that doesn't include border wall funding — to open the government back up for three weeks. But if a deal on the wall isn't made by Feb.15, the president insisted his administration would be "off to the races."

"I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall. This was in no way a concession. It was taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it's off to the races!," he tweeted.

I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall. This was in no way a concession. It was taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it’s off to the races!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2019

The Senate passed legislation Friday afternoon to reopen the government and make back payments to employees, and the president signed the bill Friday night. Lawmakers are now expected to reconvene in a bipartisan conference to try and work out a deal regarding the wall.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders noted Friday night that a wall will be built even if lawmakers can't reach a deal in the 21-day period.

Sanders tweeted, "In 21 days President @realDonaldTrump is moving forward building the wall with or without the Democrats. The only outstanding question is whether the Democrats want something or nothing."

In 21 days President @realDonaldTrump is moving forward building the wall with or without the Democrats. The only outstanding question is whether the Democrats want something or nothing https://t.co/dMaDfBOIuT

— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) January 26, 2019

Democrats have stood firm by saying they wouldn't negotiate border wall funding until the president reopened the government. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the ball is in the Democrats' court to stand by their word.

"I hope our Democratic friends will stay true to the commitment they've stated constantly over the past weeks, that once government was reopened, they'd be perfectly willing to negotiate in good faith on a full-year government funding that would include a significant investment in urgently needed border security measures, including physical barriers," McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said negotiations will continue, but instead of saying things like walls or barriers, he uses terms like border security and Homeland Security bill.

"In the conference, Democrats and Republicans will have the opportunity to negotiate the details of the Homeland Security bill, which includes issues of border security, humanitarian aid, drug inspection technology and many others," Schumer said.

Trump Border wall
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Hispanic pastors at the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump held a roundtable with Hispanic pastors to discuss border security and economy. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Moving forward, if a deal isn't reached by Feb. 15, the White House is prepared to once again shut down the government, which would be the fourth in Trump's two years in office. The president said he could still declare a national emergency to build the wall he promised during his 2016 campaign

"If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency," Trump said during a speech on Friday. "I had a very powerful alternative, but I didn't want to use it at this time."

The government shutdown on Dec. 22 when Republicans and Democrats couldn't come to terms on funding for a border wall. Since then about 800,000 federal employees were either furloughed or working without pay. The spending bill approved by the president Friday doesn't allot any funding for the wall, but it does include back pay for all federal employees.