House Speaker Paul Ryan emerged from a last-minute White House meeting Thursday between President Donald Trump and House Republicans, and said that the President told them he will refuse to sign a stopgap funding bill as it’s currently written — a measure that would avert a shutdown before a Friday midnight deadline.

Ryan told reporters that he and other GOP leaders were going back inside to try to add border security to the legislation. Trump called the meeting amid criticism that he was “softening” on a key campaign promise.

Earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced, “At this moment, the President does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall. The President is continuing to weigh his options.” Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio were also at the White House meeting.

Ryan declined to comment as he left the Capitol late Thursday morning. Scalise said he was hopeful that Republicans would pass a bill that meets the president’s border wall demand.

Speaker Ryan: Pres. Trump won’t sign bill to fund government through Feb. 8


Editorial credit: Christopher Halloran /