(CNN) — White House legislative director Marc Short defended Monday a recent re-election campaign ad from President Donald Trump that called Democrats “complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.”
“What (the ad is) trying to do is it’s trying to show that we do have a real security threat on our borders,” Short told CNN’s “New Day.” “We have serious security concerns and it’s being ignored in a lot of this debate right now. We want to help get that resolved.”
The 30-second video was released hours after the government shutdown began. The immigration debate is the largest point of contention between the parties.
But Short also said the Trump administration is making “significant progress” on immigration negotiations to re-open the federal government.
“I feel like there’s been significant progress. I think Democrats have moved significantly toward our position of the physical barriers that we’re asking for,” Short said on “New Day.” “What’s so hard for us to understand why we’re having a manufactured shutdown when you’re having progress in negotiations.”
Speaking to reporters at the White House later Monday morning, Short called Democrats “hostage-takers,” adding that Trump has continued to reach out to some members of the party.
Democrats have dug in against the Republican-offered proposal to fund government, asking instead to address immigration legislation either ahead of or in the same measure.
On Monday at noon, the Senate is set to hold a procedural vote on re-opening the government.
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