With no immediate end to the shutdown in sight, Trump made his remarks during a surprise visit to Iraq and blamed the shutdown on Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who was expected to become speaker of the US House of Representatives on January 3. He declined to say how much he would accept in a deal to end the shutdown.
He connected their service in Iraq to the need for a wall.
More Americans blame President Donald Trump than congressional Democrats for the partial US government shutdown, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday, with no quick end in sight to the closure, now in its sixth day.
It might be nice if someone inside the White House told the president that he doesn't need Democrats to get funding for his wall. Democrats must end Shutdown and finish funding. "They're public servants. And the President is treating them like poker chips at one of his failed casinos", Warner wrote on his Twitter account.
There are enough Republican and Democratic votes in the House and Senate to pass a bill that funds the government without money for Trump's anti-Mexican Night's Watch border wall.
According to the Associated Press, around 420,000 people are working without pay, while another 380,000 have been put on furlough.
Over the weekend, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said the White House had made a counter-offer to Democrats on border security.
- Republicans said they were waiting for a counteroffer from Democrats to the proposal said to have been made by Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday of $2.1 billion for new border barriers, along with $400 million for other Trump immigration priorities. When Trump protested he would have the votes "if I needed" them, Pelosi responded, "Well, then go do it".
- Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have been negotiating with the Trump administration.
Mr Trump argued that Democrats oppose a wall only because he is for one.
Christmas has come and gone but the partial government shutdown is just getting started.
The shutdown has been playing out against the backdrop of turmoil in the stock market, which is having a roller-coaster week. He told reporters a shutdown of a few weeks is not going to have any "significant effect on the outlook". It was the third shutdown of the year.
Many national parks have closed while some have limited facilities.
That would be a devastating blow and dump a tsunami of gloom on the holiday season, particularly for those government workers who have to show up to work without being paid.
In a tweet early Thursday morning, the president claimed that "most" of the federal employees affected by the partial shutdown are Democrats. Many rank-and-file workers have gone to social media with stories of the financial hardship they expect to face because of the shutdown.
Earlier this week, Trump claimed that numerous federal workers were OK with the shutdown.
Trump didn't say how he's hearing from federal workers, excluding those he appointed to their jobs or who work with him in the White House. "So that gives us enormous ability to, it's a force multiplier, it's a great ability to achieve our goals and I don't think the president shares that view almost to the extent that the rest of us do", Toomey said on NBC.