SPECIAL REPORT: Trump calls shutdown meeting 'productive'

The second meeting in three days ended with no resolution to the standoff.
21:10 | 01/04/19

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Transcript for SPECIAL REPORT: Trump calls shutdown meeting 'productive'
This is an ABC news special. George Stephanopoulos. Good afternoon wanted to write live right now out of the Rose Garden where president -- about to appear after two are meeting with congressional leaders PC vice president Mike Pence there on this. Government shut down regular wall now in its fourteen day. We had a very very productive meeting. And it would come a long way. I'll discuss that and a second but first. Imagine you've all seen. The incredible. Job growth 3121000. Jobs. Which took everybody by surprise estimates range from 160 G. 180000. And this really took people by surprise this is a great number I think it has a lot to do with the factories and with the company's. That are moving back into the United States who have left and now they're coming back to us and sort of being and other countries. I can't tell you what that does to other countries but I'm the president of this country. So 3121000. Jobs was a tremendous number. And obviously having a big impact on the stock market today. And I do want people to remember that we've had a tremendous success. Despite the fact that I'm in the midst of negotiating incredible trade deals for our country. That should have been negotiated many years ago. By both parties to be honest for many years ago. We are doing very well in a negotiation with China. We pretty much concluded our negotiation with Canada with Mexico. We have. Donned a deal and signed a deal with South Korea which a lot of people said was not going to happen would be impossible to good deal. Who's a horrible deal it's a good deal. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact though that. Already. Companies are moving back into our country that have left our country in some cases in some cases they're moving back. Because there want to be here but in many cases these are automobile companies that have left. And gone to other countries and now they're coming back to the United States so it's nice to see one of the things have so beautiful to watch is 3.2. Percent wage growth that hasn't happened in so long. For our country. That's an incredible thing I means people are actually getting. More money taking home more money and that's something that's. It really nice to see a lot of you have been following me. When we were ought to thing called the campaign I was an exciting campaign. A great campaign. And I used to talk about. Wages going down not going up and going down for years nineteen years. And now they just went up 3.2 percent and yet there's no inflation. Because other things are going down like the price of your gasoline at the tank. It's that low and that doesn't happen by luck I work hard on that it's like a tax cut for people. So a lot of good things are happening labor participation. Rate increase to. 63 point one that's an incredible number also. So I just want to bring that out the economy is very good and remember from the time of vial action. Deep stock market's gone up. Very close to 30%. And that's what all of these things that are happening and there are a lot of things happen we have a massive. Trade negotiation going on with China president she's very much involved so my. We're dealing at the highest levels so we're doing very well where we're doing very well. In the meantime we've taken in billions and billions of dollars in tariffs from China and from others. Are still investors come roaring back. And that makes me very happy I think we'll have to build a steel wall. As opposed to a concrete wall because we have steel companies again something awfully nice about that Sen. So we had a productive meeting today. Who is. Speaker Pelosi. And senator. Schumer I Lyoto is really a very very good meeting. We're all on the same path in terms of wanting to get government opened. We're going to be meeting I designated a group. Yeah we're going to be meeting over the weekend that group to. Determine what we're going to do about the border. Really I want to thank a lot of the Border Patrol people a nice people who came up yesterday that a tremendous impact on. I think a lot of Democrats frankly but a lot of people because they were able to lay out exactly. What the problem lies and one of the problems described to me as an example your ports of entry we're going to agree with. Shock and Nancy and dead. Steady and Dick Durbin was there we do agree that and we want to. Make the ports a bigger more powerful. Able to handle more traffic. Have very very powerful drug equipment there are so they make very good stuff now we don't have it because. Of budgets and other reasons but we're gonna make. Our ports of entry very powerful very strong. We're gonna have the best drug finding equipment anywhere in the world and make it much better today than they made it even two years ago. And I explained John the problem is we can have a wonderful port of entry. We have 2000 miles of border between the United States and Mexico. And if you take a look at you see like we do through certain technology including cameras in airplanes not just drones. You'll see vast numbers of vehicles driving through the desert and entering what you don't have. A very powerful sense Lorrie walls. That happened this. Week where a wonderful young. Police officer spoke to his wife yesterday. Where he was. Shot viciously shot. For simply stopping a person that came over the border illegally. That shot and killed. And took them was beautiful picture just. Hours before Christmas picture. We don't want that happening. But. I was explained to and I explained to people because it's really common sense. So yeah ports of entry we have great security at the ports of entry and then you may have fencing or walls. Up and down left and right east and west. But they stuck. Because we don't have proper voter security these people have vehicles. And they drive to the right they're not going through a we have. Great Border Patrol officers and ice officers and military now I'd say the military has done a fantastic job don't stop. They go right to the each is part in the weakest part. Sometimes at a desert but you have miles and miles and miles of unprotected area and you can see where they drive over. You even have people walk in that track that's a very dangerous trek. And they bring children. Or even worse they use children you know children are the biggest. Beneficiaries of what we want to do children are hurt more than anybody else these coyotes what they do its children. All because we have open borders because I think that get away when they don't commit through the port will we have a lot of protection. They cut men to empty air is vast spaces empty areas. Just like this terrible person came in when he shot. Officer seeing. They come in through these vast open areas. You don't even have a sign saying Mexico US is no sign designating you have just entered the united should just open space. And I explain that to the meeting today Lewis. Nancy Pelosi Chuck Schumer and a lot of other people at the meeting. And I said. A one of the things that happens there is human traffickers. Maybe that's the worst civil. Where he'll have traffickers. Having three and four women. With tape put their mouths and tied up. Sitting in the back of the van or a car. I don't drive deadpanned of the car not through a port of entry where we have. Very talented people that look for every little. Morsel of drugs or even people or whatever they're looking for a second ago that they'd get off the road. And they drive out into the desert and they come Monday and make a left turn usually it's a left not a right. Most of them come out because in San Diego and and areas of California we just finished. Brenda Waltz beautiful walls steel walls. And they wanted to badly they were asking us that's why we did it there I said let's not doting California California always complains through their great governors. They're always complaining. As it let's not do it let the governor asked guys but we did it anyway because they're really needed it that way having tremendous problems so we built a brand new wall. In San Diego and it's working really well. He secure look at it. It's amazing it's incredible how well it works but. These coyotes and these human traffickers. They make a right turn. Before they get to the port of entry they go as far as the wall is. Or as far as the barricade is. And then they make it left. Welcome to the United States. What they do. With usually the women sometimes children. That their trafficking. With and then. You don't want to note that. So the only way you gonna stop that is by having a solid. Steel structure or concrete structure. Whether it's a wall. All are some form a very powerful still now this still is actually more expensive than the country. But I think we're probably talking about steel. Because I really feel the other side feels better about it and I can understand. What they're saying it is more expensive. We mentioned the price that we want five point six billion dollars. Very strongly. His numbers have thrown around one point 62 point 12 point five this is national security were deducted about we're not touch it about. Games were talking about national security issue have been done. By all of the president said proceeded me and they all know what some of them have told me that we should've done it. Seoul. We're not playing games we have to do. And just remember human traffickers remember drugs the drugs are pouring into this country. They don't go through the ports of entry. When they do they sometimes get color when we finish. At the Democrats do want this. They want ports of entry strengthened and I want to do that to fact we have it down. Tel 400 million dollars and we can have the best equipment in the world. How much they'll do if we have the protection. And we have strong ports of entry with this incredible. Drug finding equipment. I don't know what they gonna do because they're not come and in through. Past the steel gates are the steal Walt's. Or the concrete walls depending on what's happening because we are meeting. This weekend. We have a group I've set up a group. They are going to tell us who are there group of experts and probably. People in the senate. And congressmen and women are gonna come and we have three I said. Give us three that I said you know what send over nine or six 32 doesn't matter Sandoval of you on. But it's common sense so now when they make that terror and they make it and now all of a sudden. They can't go any further. And have to go back. And that's gonna stop the caravans for two reasons number one they're not going to be able to get through but when they realize they can't get through. What's gonna happen they're not gonna Foreman enacted to try and come. And they can apply for asylum and they can. Most importantly they can apply for citizenship. Because the companies that I tell you that created these great job numbers there are credible job numbers beyond. Anybody's expectations I don't think it was one Wall Street genius. Of which I know many. But they're not geniuses. Is outlined. That predicted anywhere close to these job numbers I thought there were going to be good. But there wasn't one that I sell. So now. We have everything so beautifully and we need to have. However we need. Border security. And all of this security if we do what I think what the Democrats want. All of the border things that will be building. Will be done right here in the good old USA by steel companies that were practically out of business. When I came into office as president and now they're thriving you call up the heads of US steel and I could name ten companies you look at what's going on with the steal and theirs is almost America it was a dead industry we need steel for defense. We need steel for a lot of things steel and aluminum. But those industries were in deep trouble the steel investors almost dead and now it's a very vibrant vibrant industry. So what I'm gonna do is ask the first of all Mike. Pension vice president to say a couple of words because Mike is we put together a team of people that will work over the weekend. And they'll be negotiated on the border on the look on. Different things having to do with border security including at the ports of entry. And I think they're going to be very successful. Because I found the Democrats really want to do something. So we're at five point six. If you look at it five point six billion dollars but we are able to also in addition to that. Because what we want to do has to be done properly. And we're negotiating very tough prices very very tough because you heard much higher numbers. Those higher numbers were very much of ms. dummy your twenty and 25 billion. And doctor what happened is when a judge incredibly. Because it was indeed credibly. I would say wrong decision. Fact that President Obama when he signed the dock out. With the executive order made his statement to the effect. This is a got to work. And some judge from the ninth circuit here we go again upheld it and that it was upheld. By the ninth circuit appellate. And now. It's going before the united sates Supreme Court and hopefully. That will be properly adjudicated because if it is. Talks will begin on larger. Immigration. Matters having to do with doctor having to do with the other things so. That is taken place we may add a few things on to our discussions over the weekend. Letterman asked Mike Pence and then I'll have made a McCarthy say a few words and would take a couple of questions. But we're very proud of the jobs in the job numbers that was incredible. And I think I'll be even more proud if we can have great border security for the first time. And really the history of our countries our southern border. Is a dangerous. Horrible. Disaster we've done a great job. But you can't really do the kind of job we have to do. Unless you have a major powerful barrier and that's what we're going to have to have so first we start with. Mike Pence. And president trump district an optimistic nine after what he called a productive meeting with congressional leaders to our meeting with rationally is the White House this morning it's on flanked also by vice president Mike Pence. And the Republican leaders in the house senator Mitch McConnell of Republican leader in the senate gone back. To the senate but the president's comments came after democratic. A leader Chuck Schumer Sena leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A spoke before the White House cameras as well in a play a minute of that. We really cannot resolve this until we open got and we made that very clear to the president. Services are being withheld from the American people paychecks are being held withheld from people. Serve the needs of the American people and our border security. Will suffer it's we do not resolve this issue. We are committed to keeping our borders safe. That has always been our principles under the oath of office that would take to protect and defend our country and our constitution. We can do that deaths from government is open that they benefit for the president. They're. The IRA basically the same thing is what the leader of the speakers at the bottom line is very simple we made a pleaded the president once again. Don't hold millions of Americans. Hundreds of thousands of workers hostage open up the government and let's continue the discussions. I pointed out to him for instance a ball I got my office this morning. Fire dispatcher. From upstate New York. So the wife is pregnant signed a mortgage can't get the FAA it would prove it now FHA to prove it because the government disclose. This kind of situation is happening. Millions of instances across the United States and one way or. So we told the president and we needed the government. He resisted. Backing said he keep the government closed for a very long period of time months or even years. The discussion and this that we discussed the bunch of issues leaders said there were somewhat contentious. And we'll continue discussing of course. But. It's very hard to see how progress will be made it unless they open up the government. Tel two meetings right there are very different views from the president and the democratic leaders in the congress on bringing Mary Bruce or chief congressional correspondent. Right now marry now the one thing they do seem to grant is that some sort of discussions. Are gonna continue through the weekend. Yet but George they can even agree on the status of these discussions here look you hit the nail on the head there this is the tale of two very different read outs the president saying this with a constructive meeting Democrats saying it was contentious the president. Touting this formation of what Republicans and the White House are calling a working group the president sending down to the hill this week and his top folks as it was described to us that they can continue these talks but. I'm told from a democratic source that that there is nothing new here that the talks are just. Going to continue but that there is no no new working group that has been formed here and it just goes to show you the real breakdown here I mean they can't even agree. On how they're going to continue conversations more the last onto an agreement on an actual deal to get the government back up and running York. Mary streaking also that senator McConnell are publicly in the senate cannot appear. Behind the president the Rose Garden even the Republican leaders in the house did. Yet Mitch McConnell that's in just spotted here in his office in the capitol George and he has been notably. Absent from a lot of this fight he it seems intentionally is trying to lay low here making argument that this fight is really between the Democrats. And the president but there's a real question about how long Mitch McConnell can stay out of this fight especially as we are beginning to see some cracks. In his caucus right now from his Republican members at least two Republican senators now both of whom. Are up for reelection in twenty when he are now publicly saying that they support reopening the government with. Or without a wall that is going to put continued mounting pressure on Mitch McConnell even though right now he is still trying to Leila. But for now day fourteen of the government shut down the center appears gonna continue through the weekend talks will continue his well let's we've heard from the president. And congressional leaders our coverage will continue. On ABC news lives that's our 24/7 streaming chairing it then and abcnews.com. Of course a full report tonight on world news or tonight would give him your had a good afternoon. This has been a special. For me he's.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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