Washington (CNN) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he supports a government shutdown if Democrats won't agree to tighten immigration laws undercutting ongoing bipartisan negotiations on Capitol Hill.
The comment, which came during a White House meeting on the violent MS-13 gang, was not well received in the room. Rep. Barbara Comstock, a Virginia Republican who represents a district with thousands of federal workers, confronted Trump about the remark and urged him to avoid another government shutdown.
"If we don't change it, let's have a shutdown," Trump said of the nation's immigration laws. "We'll do a shutdown and it's worth it for our country. I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of."
He added: "If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don't want safety, and unrelated but still related, they don't want to take care of our military, then shut it down. We'll go with another shutdown."
The government will run out of funding Thursday if negotiators can't strike a deal.
Several Republican aides working on the budget deal have voiced concern to CNN that the President's comments about a shutdown may cause things to fall apart.
"Holding my breath right now," texted one senior Republican working on the deal.
The issue is whether House Democrats, who have for months been outright resistant to signing onto a budget agreement without a resolution on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, will now back away from the breakthrough deal negotiators are approaching.
The President's remarks happened at the same time Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, in separate news conferences, touted the progress on the talks and made clear a deal was close.
"Things are in a good place, but also fragile," another GOP aide said, noting all of the moving parts in the talks. "We could do without anything inflammatory for a couple of days."