White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders argued Wednesday that Democrats are "in denial" about the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, while President Trump is trying to work across the aisle to fix the problems. 

In his first primetime Oval Office address to the nation, Trump said there is a growing "humanitarian crisis" at the border and called on Democrats to approve $5.7 billion for his long-promised border wall

"This is a humanitarian crisis – a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul. Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States – a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims by far of our broken system," he said.

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Sanders said the Democrats' response - delivered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer - was "ridiculous" and indicative of their two-year-long policy of fighting whatever Trump proposes.

"They care more about playing politics than they do about protecting Americans. I think what we saw last night was frankly a pathetic excuse. If this is the face and the future of the Democrat party, I think things are looking really good for Republicans," she said on "Fox & Friends."

Sanders said Trump has shown a "willingness" to work with Democrats, changing the design of the border wall to steel instead of concrete and adding funding for new technologies to assist Border Patrol agents.

"Now they have to show that they’re willing to do their jobs and do something other than fight this president," she said.

Pelosi and Schumer said Democrats want to reopen the government and debate border security separately, accusing Trump of having an "obsession" with the wall. 

"The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a thirty-foot wall," Schumer concluded.

Trump is slated to meet with Democratic leaders at the White House later today, with Sanders expressing the hope that a deal can be reached to reopen the government before federal employees miss a second paycheck. 

The federal government partially shut down Dec. 22 after Trump and House Republicans refused to approve a budget measure that did not include $5 billion for the border wall. 

Watch the full interview above.

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