White House chief: Trump not building a 'wall'

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In his tweets Monday, Trump appeared steadfast in his insistence on border-wall funding and blamed Democrats for the stalemate.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation", said the Trump administration has "spent very little" of the $1.3 billion that Congress allotted for physical border security improvements earlier this year. "They say it's old technology - but so is the wheel". "Since we're talking about $5 billion for border security, not $25 billion, we're probably going to have to scale things back", Graham said.

"An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media", tweeted the president.

Graham said he pitched Trump on a possible deal "that would include around $5 billion for border security slash wall slash fencing - whatever you want to call it, in areas that make sense - and deal with another problem that's looming".

Conway also signaled Sunday the President may veto potential spending bills from Congress to reopen the government but added he's "ready to negotiate" and "wants to make a deal on border security".

"The wall has become a metaphor for border security".

While the president threatened on Friday to close the southern United States border with Mexico over the shutdown, the White House shifted their focus and placed the blame on Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi.

He also took pride that he kept politics out of the decision-making process at the White House, an issue that Trump's allies repeatedly expressed frustration about the new chief of staff.

In one of his many tweets since the shutdown started, Trump wrote: "We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with". Add Government Shutdown as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Government Shutdown news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

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As the dispute dragged on over the holiday break, Trump renewed claims that the wall was necessary to keep out undocumented migrants and criminal gangs, and has tried to lay the blame for the shutdown on Democrats.

President Trump should contribute his own money to fund his oft-promised border wall, GOP Rep. Walter Jones suggested last week.

Kelly's remark comes amid a partial government shutdown that went into effect after lawmakers could not agree on a budget given the president's demand for $5 billion in border wall funding.

There are three basic ways the shutdown that started on December 22 could end: Trump gives up the $5 billion he wants for the wall, Democrats give Trump his wall money, or both sides come up with a face-saving deal. Under the terms Graham sketched out Sunday, young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S.as children, as well as those fleeing disaster- and war-torn countries who hold indefinite visas, could be temporarily protected from deportation in return for wall funding.

Mr Kelly, who will leave his post on Wednesday after 17 months in the job, made the admission in an extensive interview with the Los Angeles Times.

The full-year spending bills for Interior, Financial Services, Agriculture, Transportation and Housing and Urban development passed the Senate in August on a 92-6 vote.

This is a Democratic proposal, and it is unclear if it will be taken up by the Senate, where Republicans will expand their majority come Thursday, or if President Trump will support it. Speaker-designate Pelosi has previously stated that the House would take up a bill to reopen government as a first order of business.

Jones and other Republicans have argued that the wall must be built to stem illegal border crossings, but the government needs a "fiscally responsible plan" to pay for the project.