Trump heads to the US-Mexico border to argue for his wall, despite reportedly admitting it's just a photo op that won't change 'a damn thing'

Trump border wall prototypesPresident Donald Trump talks with a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol Agent while participating in a tour of US-Mexico border wall prototypes.Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

  • President Donald Trump will visit cities along the US-Mexico border on Thursday to renew calls for his desired wall.
  • He reportedly told TV anchors in private that the trip was just a photo opportunity and that "it's not going to change a damn thing."
  • The federal has been partially shut down since December 22 over the disagreement between Trump and Congressional Democrats on funding the wall.
  • The shutdown enters its 20th day on Thursday. If the shutdown is not solved by Saturday, it will become the longest in US history.

President Donald Trump is heading to the US-Mexico border on Thursday to make a case for his proposed wall, despite reportedly dismissing the trip as a photo opportunity that is "not going to change a damn thing."

Trump plans to visit a border patrol station in McAllen, Texas - one of the busiest parts of the border for illegal crossings. He will discuss immigration and border security, and receive a security briefing on the border, the Associated Press reported.

It's not clear what the trip will achieve. Trump, in private, reportedly dismissed it as a useless photo opportunity, saying: "It's not going to change a damn thing, but I'm still doing it."

Read more: 'How much more American blood must we shed': Trump delivers his first prime-time address from the Oval Office amid a government shutdown over funding for his border wall

donald trump border wall prototypesPresident Donald Trump reviews border wall prototypes, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in San Diego.Associated Press/Evan Vucci

He also reportedly said a televised address which he gave from the Oval Office two days later was pointless.

Trump's comments came during an off-the-record lunch on Tuesday with television anchors, which was reported by The New York Times.

The border trip comes as the federal government enters its 20th day of a partial shutdown over a disagreement between Trump and congressional Democrats over funding for the wall.

It is close to becoming the longest shutdown in US history - the record currently stands at 21 days, which took place in 1995-1996.

The president stormed out of a meeting over the government shutdown on Wednesday after Democratic leaders once against refused to fund a wall or steel barrier separating the US-Mexico border.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump "sort of slammed the table" and walked out of the room when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said no to funding for a wall or steel barrier.

donald trumpAs seen from a window outside the Oval Office, President Donald Trump gives a prime-time address about border security Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018, at the White House in Washington.Associated Press/Carolyn Kaster

Trump has also repeatedly floated the idea of declaring a national emergency to start construction on a wall on the border in an effort to circumvent Congress. Democrats said he has no legal basis to do this, and Republicans are uneasy about the issue.

He has also reportedly instructed the White House Office of Management and Budget to explore whether he can use the Department of Defense's budget to fund the wall without requiring Congress' permission.

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