US President Donald Trump said talks with lawmakers on building his proposed Mexico border wall are pointless and suggested he will declare a national emergency to get it done.
“I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting our country very badly by doing what she’s doing and, ultimately, I think I’ve set the table very nicely,” Trump said Thursday in a wide ranging interview with The New York Times, referring to the speaker of the House of Representatives.
The talks are to conclude in two weeks and Trump has previously warned that if they do not end with money to build a wall on the border with Mexico he will allow another government shutdown.
An earlier 35-day shutdown just ended after a showdown with Democrats led by Pelosi.
In the New York Times interview, Trump made no mention of another closure, however, and suggested he will declare a national emergency on the border as a way to use military funds to erect such a barrier, a key campaign pledge that plays to his conversvative nationalist base.
“I’ve actually always gotten along with her, but now I don’t think I will anymore,” Trump said of Pelosi.
“I think she’s doing a tremendous disservice to the country. If she doesn’t approve a wall, the rest of it’s just a waste of money and time and energy because it’s desperately needed.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Trump dismissed the various investigations being waged against him including the one on Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.
He said his lawyers have been reassured by the departing deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein that Trump is himself was not a target.
“He told the attorneys that I’m not a subject, I’m not a target,” Trump told the Times.