John Kelly embarrasses Donald Trump in White House exit interview

Conway Border wall debate ‘a foolish semantic argument

Conway Border wall debate ‘a foolish semantic argument

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.

Trump is unlikely to support House Democrats' legislation since he has previously rejected similar offers.

That has resulted in swaths of the federal government being shut down over the Christmas and New Year's holidays - and for the foreseeable future until a deal is reached.

Most voters, however, appear to be aligned with Democrats, who when not pointing to Trump's campaign promise that Mexico would pay for the wall, contend that there is little need for it.

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.

Mr. Trump tweeted Monday.

"If we blame each other, this could last a long, long time", Shelby said on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) met with the president Sunday to pitch a solution he says will appeal to both parties.

With a partial shutdown of the federal government entering its second week, thanks to his stand-off with congressional Democrats over $5 billion in funds to help build a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border, Trump began New Year's Eve explaining his rationale for suggesting that some portions of his "big lovely wall" might instead consist of a "Steel Slat Barrier".

EPA, museums to close as shutdown slogs into 2nd weekend
Pelosi mocked Trump's evolving statements on what the wall would look like or be called in an interview this week in USA Today. He tweeted Thursday evening that Democrats may be able to block him now, "but we have the issue, Border Security".

Graham had also gone to the White House to complain about Trump's abrupt decision to declare victory over ISIS and withdraw USA troops from Syria.

As Republicans relinquish their hold on Congress, and House Speaker Paul Ryan gives up the gavel, the White House is eager for a showdown with Pelosi believing the crisis will tarnish the opening of the new legislative session, and with it, her expected return to the speaker's office.

Bipartisan compromise will be a requirement for any legislation in the next two years. The White House has dropped its request further to $2.5 billion, but Democrats are holding the line against funding the wall.

President Donald Trump on Monday pushed back against claims that his administration has abandoned a concrete wall on the border, despite his own outgoing chief of staff's statements that the idea was ruled out "early on in the administration".

"Democrats are not going to give us any money for a wall, border security, without getting something themselves", Graham said.

On Saturday Trump blamed opposition Democrats "and their pathetic immigration policies" for the deaths of two Guatemalan children who crossed the border illegally with relatives who were taken into custody by US Border Patrol. Lawmakers will be given 24 hours' notice if there's a breakthrough that would require a vote.

The new Congress is sworn into office on Thursday. As the pain of the federal shutdown increases and workers miss their January 11 paychecks, this option could become more attractive.

An estimated 380,000 federal employees in those departments have been furloughed and another 420,000 will have to work without pay. "I think we can do it with technology and manpower, and much more effectively than with a wall".

- The remaining parts of the government, including the Defense Department and the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services, were already funded and won't be affected by the shutdown, nor will mandatory entitlement programs such as Medicare payments.

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