The debate was a "very important battle to win from the standpoint of safety, number one, (and) defining our country and who we are", Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for a short trip to the Camp David presidential retreat.
The meeting comes one day after Vice President Mike Pence, top White House officials and senior congressional aides emerged empty-handed after more than two hours of negotiations on ending the stalemate.
"Mr. President, can you relate to the pain of federal workers who can't pay their bills?" the journalist asked Trump as he stood outside the White House.
The president then added, "But many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I'm doing".
Trump framed the pitch for a steel wall as a concession to Democrats to move negotiations along.
Given that Congress has already declined to fund the wall, a challenge would likely quickly pass the Democratic House.
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Rose Garden after the president met with US Congressional leaders about the government shutdown and border security at the White House in Washington, US Friday.
Trump is still digging in his heels, demanding billions for a border barrier that Democrats won't provide.
'Congressman Adam Smith, the new Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, just stated, 'Yes, there is a provision in law that says a president can declare an emergency.
First Alleged 2019 iPhone XI 'Leak': 3D Renders Reveal Triple-Camera Setup
There's no doubt the iPhone XI will support wireless charging and have aluminium core - even if it is for the premium models. The reason we said Apple got inspired by Huawei is simply by looking at the rear cameras stacked inside a square window.
'Anyone Who Murders a Child, Black or White, Needs to Die'
Gonzalez said investigators don't believe "in any way" that family members were involved in anything "nefarious". Officials said investigators are also looking into the possibility that others could be charged in the case.
Colts and Cowboys advance in wild-card games
With the Houston Texans losing to the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, we know something about one AFC divisional-round matchup. They have to fly back to the west coast before heading back to Foxborough to face off with the New England Patriots next week.
Vice President Mike Pence had planned to meet with congressional leadership staff on January 6, but Trump said any developments related to his $5.6 billion funding request for the wall were likely to happen in the coming days.
"Look, if Harry Truman couldn't nationalize the steel industry during wartime, this President doesn't have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion dollar wall on the border", Schiff said.
As the impact of the shutdown spreads - with reports that it may affect food subsidies for the poor and the tax refunds many people depend on each year - Trump insisted that Americans, even those directly affected, understood his stance.
The president used the quotes to hammer home his message that "walls work". "They don't like concrete, so we'll give them steel".
Building a wall along the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) US-Mexico frontier was a central plank in the 2016 election campaign of Trump, who has sought to equate immigrants with crime, drugs and gangs.
'I may declare national emergency dependent on what going to happen in the next few days, ' Trump said. "Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern", Trump said in a Twitter post.
"It is not a sign of weakness to try to figure out a middle ground, and I think that both sides need to indicate a willingness to listen and to compromise", said US Senator Susan Collins of Maine on NBC.
Democrats on Sunday released the text of four appropriations bills to immediately fund key parts of the federal government. Indeed, those numbers represented a slight improvement for Trump, and a more substantial deterioration for members of Congress, compared with HuffPost's first poll of the shutdown, conducted December 22-23.
A source in the meeting said the weekend talks were good only in the sense that they got a more precise sense of what the administration wanted.