Sen. Kamala Harris Says Government Shutdown "Will Not End With a Wall"

On 'The Late Show,' the Democrat from California also told Stephen Colbert she "might" run for president.
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Sen. Kamala Harris held her ground on President Trump's proposed border wall during her appearance on The Late Show on Thursday, saying that the standoff will not end in a border wall.

When asked how the lawmaker imagined the government shutdown, entering its 22nd day, would end, the Democrat from California responded, "It has to end with a government functioning and running ... It will not end with a border wall."

The senator further declared that beyond what American viewers were seeing in the news, "The chatter in the cloakroom is that we have hundreds of thousands of Americans that are not going to get paid and they're not going to get paid because the president has a vanity project that he doesn't want to give up. It's outrageous, it's terrible," she said. "The president had a campaign promise that was ridiculous."

Recent reports have suggested that Republicans are breaking with Trump's plan to keep the government shut down in order to force funding for his proposed $5.7 billion wall. On Tuesday Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said that she would be open to reopening certain agencies without funding for the wall; Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) also indicated support for reopening the government. 

When asked if these reports were true, Harris seemed to confirm their substance. "I have to give my Republican colleagues credit for knowing this is something that is indefensible," Harris said. "So they're speaking their truth ... [that we have to] stop holding the American people hostage because of the president's vanity project."

Harris added that if the president did invoke a national emergency over the wall, as he suggested vaguely that he might do earlier on Thursday, "the courts will kick in and I'm sure there will be many lawsuits."

Amid reports that Harris, who recently released the memoir The Truths We Hold as well as the children's picture book Superheroes Are Everywhere, will announce that she's running for president during an Oakland, Calif. appearance on Martin Luther King Day, Colbert asked the senator whether she was indeed putting her name in the race.

"I might," she said with a smile.

"There you go, there's your headline right there," Colbert responded.

When asked about the MLK Day reports, she said, "We should always honor the great Dr. Martin Luther King on Jan. 21."