The White House predicted Tuesday that Republicans would emerge from a second government shutdown looking better than Democrats, days before the federal government's spending authority is set to expire.
"The president isn't looking for this, but if the Democrat Party is going to continue threatening a shutdown because they won't include responsible immigration reforms ... then the president welcomes that fight," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.
A three-week spending bill passed by Congress this month is due to expire at midnight on Thursday. That bill concluded a three-day government shutdown, after Senate Democrats refused to vote for spending legislation without taking up a clean bill to protect illegal immigrants who participated in the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., eventually struck a deal with his Republican counterparts to reopen the government with the understanding that an immigration reform bill would be put to a vote before the next spending deadline.
With the Thursday deadline fast-approaching, Sanders said a shutdown battle "is a fight we won last time and it's one we're very confident that we would win again."
"Our goal is to get a two-year budget deal and to also get a deal on immigration," she said, adding that Trump "has generously laid out a plan that addresses both Democrat and Republican reforms."
Sanders' comments came hours after Trump appeared to back a shutdown if his political opponents refuse to tighten immigration laws and close various loopholes.
"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 said during a roundtable discussion with immigration officials about the predominantly Latino MS-13 gang.