Trump said he 'can relate' to the US federal employees who aren't getting paid as shutdown talks stall

George Frey/Getty ImagesA park employee waits to help park and manage cars as they arrive to view the solar eclipse in Grand Teton National Park on August 21, 2017 outside Jackson, Wyoming.
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday that he “can relate” to the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who were furloughed or forced to work without pay during the government shutdown.
  • Trump said the employees will “make adjustments” during the shutdown that has caused them to go without pay, because “many…agree with what I’m doing.”
  • As lawmakers tangle with the Trump administration over funding for a border wall, nearly 800,000 federal workers were affected by the shutdown and facing unsure weeks ahead as they wait for their paychecks to come.

President Donald Trump said Sunday that he “can relate” the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who have been without paychecks since the government entered a partial shutdown over two weeks ago.

“I can relate and I’m sure the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do,” Trump said to reporters as he left the White House for Camp David.

Trump’s comments came after more than two weeks of tense gridlock with Democratic lawmakers over his desired $US5 billion for a border wall, a back-and-forth with which he said “many” of those people agree.

“People understand exactly what’s going on,” Trump said. “But many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 per cent with what I’m doing.”

The shutdown does not affect the entire federal government but does impact a slew of agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, the Interior, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.

Around 800,000 federal employees were affected by the shuttered agencies, 380,000 of which are now on furlough, meaning they do not report to work or get paid.

Read more: ‘We don’t know when his next check will come’: Federal employees are sharing how the government shutdown over Christmas is affecting their families

An INSIDER poll conducted last week found most Americans would prefer the $US5 billion Trump is demanding for border security be allocated toward other policy goals, including healthcare expenses, infrastructure, and early-childhood education programs.

The shutdown, which is the fourth-longest in history, has no clear end in sight, with Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney saying Sunday that recent negotiations with Democratic lawmakers were “back at square one.

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