Trump bitterly attacks top Democrat Nancy Pelosi on Twitter, Latest World News - The New Paper

Trump bitterly attacks top Democrat Nancy Pelosi on Twitter

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US president had offered temporary protection for immigrants - protection he had revoked - for border wall

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump bitterly attacked top Democrat Nancy Pelosi on Sunday and she again insisted that he end the government shutdown before border security talks can begin.

Mr Trump lashed out on Twitter a day after Ms Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, dismissed as a "non-starter" his offer to extend temporary protection to about a million immigrants in return for US$5.7 billion (S$7.7b) for the wall he wants on the Mexican border to fulfill a campaign promise.

The current government shutdown - now in its 31st day - is the longest on record. It has left about 800,000 federal workers unpaid - among them airport security officers, FBI agents, museum workers, and Coast Guard members.

"Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat," the president tweeted.

"She is so petrified of the 'lefties' in her party that she has lost control."

It was Mr Trump's most direct attack on Mr Pelosi since the partial government shutdown began.

Pointedly ignoring his personal comments, Ms Pelosi on Twitter emphasised the need to end the impasse, which has inflicted increasing pain after one month, with some government employees having to turn to food banks or local charities to get by.

"Reopen the government, let workers get their paychecks and then we can discuss how we can come together to protect the border. #EndTheShutdown," she tweeted.

While Ms Pelosi and other Democrats dismissed Mr Trump's offer, Republicans insisted that it represented actual movement by the president.

Vice President Mike Pence, who has been leading the administration's contacts with Congress, said the Senate would put the proposal to a vote as early as today.

The planned vote also reflects a shift by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. He insisted previously that he would not take up any shutdown bill unless both Mr Trump and Democratic leaders backed it.

The Trump administration - increasingly blamed by Americans for the shutdown - is trying to balance demands of those Republican hard-liners and Democrats who adamantly oppose spending the money Mr Trump wants for a wall.

Democrats have assailed Mr Trump's new offer as cynical, noting that it was he who - by ending the programme protecting 700,000 young immigrants and to expel about 300,000 others in a separate programme - had placed in jeopardy many of those for whom he now offers temporary protection.

But anti-immigrant voices also attacked Mr Trump's offer as tantamount to amnesty for the undocumented - a toxic concept for many conservatives.