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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump convened a teleconference Tuesday with more than 800 state and local leaders, reiterating that he will not change his mind on the border wall and asking them to put pressure on their Democratic representatives in Congress to negotiate.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's director of federal affairs Gordon Larsen was among those on the 10-minute call, in which Trump urged participants to pressure Democrats to allocate money for a border wall.
Plans - Shutdown - Strategy - Larsen
"He does not have plans to back down and will continue on the current shutdown strategy for as long as it takes," Larsen said.
Participants were briefed beforehand that a senior official in the White House administration would be on the call, he said, so it was a surprise when Trump personally came on the line.
Calls - Administration - Time - President - Larsen
"These calls are fairly routine with the administration, but this is the first time I've been on one where the president weighed in," Larsen said.
As the shutdown prepares to enter its 26th day Wednesday, Trump and the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives remain at an impasse over funding for a border wall, or some sort of physical barrier with Mexico to add to fencing that already exists along a portion of the border.
Barrier - Clarion - Call - Trump - Campaign
That barrier was a clarion call during Trump's campaign and during the 2016 presidential election that ended with his victory that stunned pollsters and his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have said they will not fund the $5 billion Trump wants for some sort of barrier.
Trump - GOP - Leadership - US - Senate
Trump, backed by GOP leadership in the U.S. Senate, said he will not endorse any spending package that doesn't include money for border security, including a wall of some sort.
During Tuesday's brief call, in which Trump did not take questions, Larsen said the president recited statistics about...
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