01 January, 2019
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".
"If he had said to me, 'Do it, or you're fired, '" Kelly insisted he would have resigned, later adding that he told Trump that "the last thing in my view that you need in the chief of staff is someone that looks at every issue through a political lens".
Trump says a wall is needed along the whole border to keep out migrants trying to enter the country illegally, casting them as an "invasion" force of risky criminals.
Earlier Sunday, Graham told Bash on the same program that he hoped to end the shutdown by offering Democrats incentives to get them to vote for wall funding.
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. There's little indication of any imminent agreement to resolve the standoff before the new Congress convenes on January 3.Trump is demanding $5 billion for the wall, while Democratic leaders proposed $1.3 billion for border security.
The package does not include the $5 billion Trump wants for the wall on the southern border.
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Sunday that President Trump's strategies heading into 2019 are very beneficial to Americans.
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?"
Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, said on ABC's "This Week" that investment in Central America was one element of a "multi-faceted problem" that also requires funding border security.
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What do we know of Friday's attack? An investigator at the scene said the device had likely been planted near the wall. The bus hit the device after it went off its planned route without alerting security forces, Mr Madbouly added .
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"Democrats are not going to give us any money for a wall, border security, without getting something themselves", Graham said. Trump disputes Kelly's comments on the wall.
Mr. Trump is counting on public support as he holds out for $5 billion to build the wall. The Senate on December 21 failed to muster the votes needed to pass Republican-backed House legislation that included Trump's wall funding.
Her first order of business is expected to be passing a bill to fund the federal departments that are closed, without providing extra resources for Trump's border wall.
"We are far apart", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told CBS on Friday, claiming of Democrats, "They've left the table all together".
On New Year's Eve, the government shutdown entered its ninth day with no clear indication that a deal between Trump and Democrats can be reached on the spending bill.
"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". But at least one Senate Republican says it's time to move past the blame game. What's unclear is whether the Republican-led Senate, under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will consider it or if Trump would sign it into law.
Right-wing columnist Ann Coulter - author of In Trump We Trust - recently predicted he will not be re-elected.
Trump says Democrats supported border security funding before, though that funding provided for fencing, not a wall.
The partial government shutdown is in its second week over Trump's demand for $5bn for the wall.