President Donald Trump made a quick, unannounced stop in the White House briefing room Thursday to reiterate his hard-line border wall stance amid an ongoing partial government shutdown.
The surprise appearance, which lasted just a few minutes, marked the president's first time speaking from the briefing room podium. He answered no questions from reporters, who shouted questions at him as he walked out of the room.
The impromptu briefing came hours after a swearing-in ceremony for new members of Congress, when Democrats took a majority in the House. It also came as the partial shutdown of the federal government dragged into its 13th day, with no clear resolution in sight. Democratic leaders, including newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have refused to agree to any deal that would fund a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Last month, Trump said he would be "proud to shut down the government for border security." He has refused to accept spending legislation without wall funding. The president has said he will not support funding bills Democrats plan to pass Thursday night, which do not include money for the barrier. Bipartisan congressional leaders head to the White House on Friday for a round of negotiations on border security.
After greeting the press, Trump quickly turned the podium over to Brandon Judd, who is reportedly the president of the National Border Patrol Council. He defended Trump's requirement that any deal to end the government shutdown must include border wall funding.
"There are experts that say that walls don't work," Judd said, but "I promise you" that border agents will say otherwise.
Following two more border security agents, Trump took the podium once more to claim that the U.S. economy's success is leading to an increase in immigration.
"The better we do, the more people want to come in," the president said.
Trump delivered his remarks less than an hour after market close, in which stocks fell sharply on the heels of Apple's announcement that it would lower its fiscal first quarter guidance.