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Trump Blames Democrats for Deaths at Border in Ramped-Up Attack

Donald Trump on Saturday said “any deaths of children or others” at the U.S.-Mexico border were “strictly the fault of the Democrats” in a ramp-up of the president’s rhetoric over a proposed border wall.

“Border Patrol needs the wall and it will all end,” Trump said in a followup message on Twitter in which he reflected on the recent deaths of two young children in the custody of U.S. border protection agents — the most recent one on Christmas Day.

The comments came a day after the president threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border and sought to shift blame for a partial federal government shutdown that appears likely to stretch into 2019.

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” Trump tweeted on Friday.

There’s currently no sign of any progress toward a plan to fund nine government departments that closed after funding ran out Dec. 21. The Senate and House held brief sessions Thursday afternoon, and neither chamber took any votes.

Democrats appeared willing to wait until they take control of the House next week at the start of the new Congress.