Chief of staff Kelly: President Trump backed away from wall months ago

Chief of staff Kelly: President Trump backed away from wall months ago

Kerry Wise
December 31, 2018

President Donald Trump has been struggling with Senate Democrats for weeks in a bid to deliver on one of his major election promises - to build a wall on the border with Mexico to stop illegal migrants from entering the US.

"There will be the physical wall and then parts of the wall that you can actually see through because it will rely on sensors and other technology", he told Fox News in February 2017.

The partial government shutdown will nearly certainly be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year, as both parties traded blame Friday and President Donald Trump sought to raise the stakes in the weeklong impasse. Lindsey Graham, who said he hoped to end the shutdown by offering Democrats incentives to get them to vote for wall funding. The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn't given her water in days.

In TV interviews yesterday, Trump aides blamed Democrats for the continuing shutdown, claiming they had refused to negotiate since the White House made an offer last weekend.

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.

White House officials and Trump friends say the president is unbound from convention and party, arguing he is going with his gut instincts and shrugging off calls for a more traditional approach, including his decision to end the USA operation in Syria, where roughly 2,000 troops are deployed.

Days later USA authorities dramatically shuttered a border crossing in southern California after hundreds of migrants - part of the "caravan" Trump had roundly condemned - tried to breach a fence from the Mexican city of Tijuana.

Graham is proposing to help two groups of immigrants to continue living in the United States with permission from the federal government: about 700,000 young "Dreamer" immigrants brought illegally as children and about 400,000 people receiving temporary protected status because they are from countries struggling with natural disasters or armed conflicts.

Farm linked to romaine E.coli outbreak also recalls cauliflower, other lettuce
So far, almost 60 illnesses from contaminated romaine lettuce have been reported in 15 states, with 23 people being hospitalized. Farms in Santa Barbara County tested positive for the bacterial strain and the owners are cooperating with USA officials.

Trump is demanding $5 billion for the wall, while Democratic leaders have proposed $1.3 billion for border security. He also asked for changes in what he said was the United States' "ridiculous immigration laws".

'Now we have to do it the hard way, with a Shutdown'.

Conway added Sunday that she thinks Trump has "already compromised" on his demands.

As the former head of Southern Command from Latin America to the U.S. -Mexico border, Kelly did acknowledge "we do have an immigration problem", but it has to be resolved by Congress and not the White House, military, or border patrol bearing all of the burden. His comments on Twitter came as his Homeland Security secretary met with medical professionals and ordered policy changes meant to better protect children detained at the border. On Saturday, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)-a prominent Trump critic-announced that Democrats will hold hearings on the two migrant deaths after they take a majority in the House next month.

One bipartisan proposal is to provide $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall, as well as a congressional reauthorization of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for those brought to the USA illegally as children, along with some other immigration provisions.

- Pass a full-year continuing resolution (CR) for the portion of the government that's shut.

About 25 percent of the federal government has been shut down since December 21, with roughly 800,000 workers affected, including an estimated 350,000 who are on furlough at home.