Republican ally Graham urges Trump to open U.S. government temporarily

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption'I don't need a wall I want money to plant crops

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption'I don't need a wall I want money to plant crops

A US Republican senator close to President Donald Trump has urged him to temporarily reopen the government for talks as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staff absences closed an global airport concourse during the record 23-day shutdown.

One powerful Republican ally, Senator Lindsey Graham, tweeted after talks with Trump: "Mr. President, Declare a national emergency NOW".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a leading Democratic negotiator, insists that Trump reopen the government first.

In two of his tweets Saturday, Trump pushed back on a media report that his White House was "chaotic" with no plan or strategy to end the shutdown.

During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday", Graham suggested that Trump sign a bill funding the government for three weeks to allow time for further negotiations with Democrats before the president "pulls the plug" on an emergency declaration.

"Democrats are saying that DACA is not worth it and don't want to include in talks", Trump said Sunday. The president initially sounded as though such a move was imminent, but then pulled back.

"It's the last option, not the first option, but we're pretty close to that being the only option", Graham said of an emergency declaration.

"The easiest solution to the shutdown is to just give President Trump the money for the mandate he received from the American public", he said. By more than 2-1 (66 per cent to 31 per cent), Americans say they oppose invoking an emergency to build a border wall. Some Republicans are wary, too, fearing how a future Democratic president might use that authority.

While a national emergency would provide some legal framework for his administration to freely move funds toward construction of a barrier, it would nearly certainly face court challenges.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., called Graham's idea to reopen the government a "great place to start".

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Being an ally is not about "mansplaining", taking the spotlight from women or using feminism to improve your public image. I think we played the first time against each other when I was eight and she was nine, something like that.

"We have a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border", he wrote on Saturday.

"No, I would do it simultaneously, but I'd like to see them move fast", Trump replied.

- House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California to CBS' "Face the Nation" on the $5.7 billion Trump wants for the U.S. -Mexico border wall.

Asked if he had ever worked for Russia, Mr Trump replied: "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked". Pelosi also has shown no interest in accepting a wall - she has called it an "immorality" - in exchange for immigration fixes.

The New York Times said it was not clear if the investigation to determine whether Mr Trump was deliberately working for Russian Federation or had unintentionally been influenced by Moscow was still being pursued.

In a sign that Trump may be losing the confidence of a key segment of his base, his disapproval rating among whites without a college degree has climbed to 47 percent, while just 45 percent approve.

Senator Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, said on "Meet the Press" that Democrats have backed more funding for border security "over and over and over again".

Airport spokesman Greg Chin said the decision to close some parts was a "precautionary measure to optimise staffing" during peak times, when large numbers of cruise-line passengers leave the city.

Sen. Richard Durbin of IL, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said on NBC News' "Meet the Press" that centrist Senate Republicans who sought to broker a deal last week should step forward and make an appeal to their party's leader in the chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Trump sees the declaration of an emergency as a last resort and still hopes to make a deal with Democrats to reopen the federal government, Graham said, adding that he spoke to Trump earlier in the day.

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