United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the government will not reopen until funding is secured for a wall he had promised along the US-Mexico border, CNN reported.

“I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open,” Trump said in the Oval Office on Christmas Day. “I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it.”

The federal government had shut down partially early on Saturday after Congress and the White House failed to agree on a spending bill that included Trump’s demands for $5.7 billion for a wall along the Mexico border.

When asked about the thousands of government employees working without pay or sent on forced leave during the shutdown, the president said workers want the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border. “I think they understand what’s happening,” CBS News quoted Trump as saying. “They want border security. The people of this country want border security. The only ones who don’t are Democrats.”

He also reiterated that he had approved 185 km of a border wall, which he first announced on Twitter earlier on Tuesday. “It’s going to be built, hopefully rapidly,” he said. “I’m going there at the end of January for the start of construction...We’re almost having a groundbreaking, it’s such a big section. It’s probably the biggest section we’ll get out.” The White House has not yet provided further information on this new section of the wall.

He also accused the Democrats of not supporting his demand for funds for a border wall because he had focussed on it during his presidential campaign and pushed for it in the White House.