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Trump threatens government shutdown over border wall

PHOENIX (AP) — President Donald Trump is threatening to shut down the federal government unless Congress provides funding for his promised border wall.

Trump told a campaign rally crowd in Phoenix, Arizona, that he has a message for “obstructionist” Democrats.

He says, “If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”

Trump is also accusing Democrats of putting American security at risk for not supporting the multibillion-dollar proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The wall was one of Trump’s most popular campaign vows, prompting frequent rally chants of “Build that wall!” Trump had promised Mexico would pay for the wall, but Mexico has refused.

The House has passed a spending bill with funding for the border wall, but it faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

Trump also signaled that he he will pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio over his recent conviction in federal court.

Trump told a Phoenix crowd Tuesday that Arpaio is “going to be just fine” as he awaits sentencing on a misdemeanor contempt-of-court conviction stemming from his refusal to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants.

There had been intense speculation in recent days that the president might issue a pardon for Arpaio, best known for his immigration crackdowns as the top lawman in metropolitan Phoenix.

Trump said he won’t pardon Arpaio tonight “because I don’t want to cause any controversy. But Sheriff Joe can feel good.”

Arpaio and Trump share similar views on immigration enforcement, and the lawman campaigned for Trump several times during the 2016 race.