Trump says he 'never abandoned' pledge to build border wall

Conway Border wall debate ‘a foolish semantic argument

Conway Border wall debate ‘a foolish semantic argument

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday disputed an assertion by his outgoing chief of staff, John Kelly, that the White House has abandoned plans for a solid concrete border wall, writing on Twitter that the idea was "NEVER ABANDONED".

"An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED", Trump tweeted on Monday. He adds: "Some areas will be all concrete but the experts at Border Patrol prefer a Wall that is see through (thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides)". "What we're talking about is a physical barrier where it makes sense".

They intend to hold the vote on Thursday when they take power but the president has threatened not to sign any measure that doesn't fund his wall and the Senate has said they will not take up any legislation that Trump won't sign - a signal the stand off will continue. He also asked for changes in what he said was the United States' "ridiculous immigration laws".

Democrats oppose Trump's demand for wall funding, with Pelosi calling the wall immoral, ineffective and expensive.

Trump promised on the campaign trail that Mexico would pay for the wall, but Mexico refused.

After meeting with the president, Graham said Trump was "open-minded" about a broader immigration agreement, saying the impasse presented an opportunity to address issues beyond the border wall.

Incoming acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Democrats are no longer negotiating with the administration over an offer made back on Saturday to accept less than the $5 billion Trump wants for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. Kelly - who is set to leave his position Wednesday - said that Trump's desired barrier is "not a wall".

Democrats plan to put the ball back in Trump's court immediately on Thursday by passing a general spending bill which would allow the government to reopen fully, but would not include extra wall construction money, USA media reports said.

The government in on day ten of a partial shutdown as Republicans and Democrats are in the midst of a show down over $5 billion in funding for Trump's border wall.




The retired Marine general said Trump often pressed him on his legal authority to do certain actions, asking, "Why can't we do [something] this way?"

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Sunday that President Trump's strategies heading into 2019 are very beneficial to Americans.

Trump raised the stakes on Friday, reissuing threats to shut the U.S. -Mexico border to pressure Congress to fund the wall and to cease aid to three Central American countries from which many migrants have fled. "If we had a Wall, they wouldn't even try!"

Within hours, the White House pushed back on Kelly's comments by highlighting Trump's earlier tweets on the topic.

Trump and the Democrats have clashed over border funding before, resulting in a brief government shutdown in January 2018.

The House is preparing to vote on the package Thursday when the new Congress convenes.

Schumer immediately began approaching Democratic senators after the midterm election to hear their views on Trump's $5 billion demand for the wall, according to a person familiar with the talks but unauthorized to speak publicly.

As president, however, Trump has sought USA taxpayer funding, but Congress has balked, leading to the ongoing shutdown of a quarter of US government operations, furloughing 800,000 government workers and forcing another 420,000 to work without pay. "Nobody wins in a shutdown, we all lose".

The shutdown has forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors to stay home or work without pay.

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