WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. government shutdown (all times local):
President Donald Trump is insisting he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border despite public equivocations by three of his advisers.
Trump tweeted Monday: “An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media.” He adds: “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).”
Outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Sunday that Trump abandoned the notion of “a solid concrete wall early on in the administration.” Kelly said, “To be honest, it’s not a wall.”
The wall has been at the center of an impasse that has led to a partial government shutdown that will extend into 2019. Trump is insisting that Democrats fund the wall, which they oppose.
Three confidants of President Donald Trump, including his departing chief of staff, are indicating that the president’s signature campaign pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would not be fulfilled as advertised.
Trump sparked chants of “Build that wall!” at rallies before and after his election and more recently cited a lack of funding for a border wall as the reason for partially shutting down the government. At times the president has also waved off the idea the wall could be any kind of barrier.
However, White House chief of staff John Kelly told the Los Angeles Times in an interview that Trump abandoned the notion of “a solid concrete wall early on in the administration.” Others said border security could include a wall, fencing and high-tech monitoring.