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Trump Prepares For A New Fight Over Border Wall Funding

Trump Prepares For A New Fight Over Border Wall Funding

The outgoing White House chief of staff says President Donald Trump long ago backed away from his campaign pledge to construct a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

But Trump conceded, "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)".

"He was frustrated. It was a huge decision to make ... and frankly there was no system at all for a lot of reasons - palace intrigue and the rest of it - when I got there".

"But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it".

He has also repeatedly threatened to cut off USA aid to countries he deems insufficient partners in combating illegal immigration, but has thus far failed to follow through with those threats.

If the President continues to insist on $5 billion for the wall, the House Democrats' plan would fall into that category.

Neither did Trump make any mention of the new free trade agreement, known as the USMCA, which he only recently signed with the two neighbouring countries to replace NAFTA and which he has repeatedly praised as a huge boost for American commerce.

In one of the tweets on Monday, Trump reminded Democrats they have voted in favor of a border barrier twice before.

But Graham said there would never be a government spending deal that did not include money for a wall or other physical barriers on the southern border.

Instead, he said the deaths were the fault of Democrats' immigration policies and tied the tragic incident with the need to fund a border wall. Trump held out for billions in federal funds for a border wall between the USA and Mexico, which Democrats have said they were intent on blocking.

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The House of Representatives will vote on a funding bill to end the partial government shutdown on Thursday, the first day of the new Congress when Democrats will take control of the chamber and are expected to elect Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as speaker.

Absent "10 Democrat votes", the president said on Twitter, "we have to do it the hard way, with a Shutdown".

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?" In January, Kelly drew Trump's ire by telling congressional Democrats the president had "evolved" on the wall and was not "fully informed" when he made it a campaign issue.

Democrats say the wall idea - one of the president's key election campaign platforms - is a distraction from more complicated immigration problems and a tool for Trump to whip up support among his conservative base. She says of the negotiations: "It is with them".

The partial government shutdown is in its second week over Trump's demand for $5 billion for the wall.

A former Marine general who led the military command responsible for Latin America, Kelly was Trump's Homeland Security secretary before becoming White House chief of staff in July a year ago.

"And the most mysterious unexplainable part in all of this is why the president decided he would rather deal with House Democrats than House Republicans in order to avert, or get his way out of, a government shutdown".

- Trump wins: The name of the game in shutdown fights is avoiding blame.

On Monday, the two aides said the first House measure to be voted on Thursday would provide funding through September for the departments of Agriculture, Interior, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, State, Commerce and Justice, as well as related agencies.

The partial government shutdown began December 22 after Trump bowed to conservative demands that he fight to make good on his vow and secure funding for the wall before Republicans lose control of the House on Wednesday.

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