No talk of solution to USA government shutdown, Trump tweets blame

"Nothing But Compassion" For Migrants, Says Outgoing White House Chief

Donald Trump's outgoing chief of staff on Sunday admitted the president's planned wall along the United States and Mexico border would be more like a fence, as he gave his final interview before leaving office.

"To be honest, it's not a wall", Kelly said, adding that the mix of technological enhancements and "steel slat" barriers the president now wants along the border resulted from conversations with law enforcement professionals. He said that Trump had given up on the idea of "a solid concrete wall early on in the administration".

Migrants from Central America say they want to reach the USA to escape poverty and gang violence.

Trump wants $5 billion as a down payment on the barrier that could cost more than $20 billion, but Democrats have only agreed to $1.6 billion to improve border security, but no wall money.

Trump is sticking with his demand for money to build a border wall with Mexico, and Democrats, who take control of the House on January 3, are refusing to give him what he wants.

"Democrats have a chance here to work with me and others, including the president, to bring legal status to people who have very uncertain lives", Graham said.

When asked by CNN whether a pathway to citizenship for the DACA population would be on the table in discussions, Graham said: "Not for $5 billion".

The wall has been at the center of an impasse that has led to a partial government shutdown that will extend into 2019.

Sen. Lindsey Graham had lunch Sunday with Trump and calls the wall "a metaphor for border security".

He tweeted: "Nancy Pelosi's newest funding proposal doesn't represent any serious attempt to secure our border or find a compromise".

Pointing to Trump's pledge to build a massive wall along the USA border with Mexico - a central campaign promise - Kelly said, "To be honest, it's not a wall", meaning that Trump no longer is calling for a huge concrete structure spanning thousands of miles.

Neither did Trump make any mention of the new free trade agreement, known as the USMCA, which he only recently signed with the two neighbouring countries to replace NAFTA and which he has repeatedly praised as a huge boost for American commerce.

Trump has declined to comment on whether he might accept less than $5 billion for wall funding.

Trump spent Monday morning taunting Democrats on Twitter, urging them to "come back from vacation now" as he remained at the White House.

"I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border".

"It is with them", she said, explaining that Mr Trump is not reaching out to Democrats.

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. Parts of the government has been shuttered for 10 days. "Democrats have made it clear that, given that the President has changed his position so many times, we would not consider any offers from the White House that the President has not publicly endorsed".

"If we blame each other, this could last a long, long time", Shelby said on CBS News' "Face the Nation." When asked how long he thought the shutdown would last, Trump told reporters, "Whatever it takes".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office could not provide any predictions about how the Senate would proceed on the legislation, but said that the Senate would not deliver anything to the President that he would not sign.

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