“We can go through the back and forth,” the incoming House speaker told NBC News in an exclusive interview. “No. How many more times can we say no?”
Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi told NBC’s “Today” show in an interview set to air Thursday that she will not provide President Donald Trump with the border wall funding he has demanded and shut down the government over.
Asked by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie if she was willing to give up any money specifically for the border wall, Pelosi said “no.”
“We can go through the back and forth,” Pelosi said in a clip that aired on MSNBC on Wednesday. “No. How many more times can we say no? Nothing for the wall.”
NEW: “We can go through the back and forth. No. How many more times can we say no? Nothing for the wall,” Rep. Pelosi tells @SavannahGuthrie amid the government shutdown, as Democrats prepare to retake control of the House on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/0tOVfmgJft
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) 2 January 2019
Pelosi added that the shutdown has “nothing to do with” Democrats, saying Trump is holding the federal government hostage so that he can fulfill his campaign promise to build a border wall — one she noted he pledged Mexico would fund.
“That is so ridiculous: A. Mexico’s not paying for it…and B. We have better use of funds to protect our border,” Pelosi said. “The president knows that.”
Her comments come one day before she is set to take over the House speakership on Thursday. The government shutdown has now stretched into its second week, with hundreds of thousands of government workers furloughed from their jobs.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump said at a Cabinet meeting that the shutdown will last “as long as it takes,” adding that it “could be a long time, or it could be quickly.”
Congress was unable to agree on a spending measure to keep the government open last month once the president insisted he would not sign such legislation unless it included $5 billion in funding for a massive wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
House Democrats will quickly move to pass short-term spending legislation upon taking control on Thursday, although it is unlikely that measure would pass the Senate and be signed by Trump.