In a move that makes the president look shaky at best, the White House announced this morning that President Trump might be willing to back down from his demand for $5 billion to fund his proposed border wall in a year-end spending bill. A week after the president said he would be “proud” to close parts of the government over border security, much to the consternation of Republicans in Congress, today’s announcement should be enough to avert a government shutdown.
“We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion that we’ll work with Congress,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, explaining in an interview on Fox News that the Trump administration is open to accepting the $1.6 billion in border security funding proposed by Democrats so long as it can “couple that with other funding resources” to make up the $5 billion sought. Said Sanders:
There are certainly a number of different funding sources that we’ve identified that we can use, that we can couple with money that would be given through congressional appropriations that would help us get to that $5 billion that the president needs in order to protect our border.
Despite her assurances, Trump himself has not weighed in on how much money he would accept for the proposed barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border, which was one of his bedrock campaign promises. The president has been known to post contradictory tweets after his spokespersons have issued policy statements that presumably came from him.