White House chief: Trump not building a 'wall'

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

"An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED", Trump tweeted Monday.

"The president still says "wall" - oftentimes frankly he'll say "barrier" or 'fencing, ' now he's tended toward steel slats", Kelly added.

"For those that naively ask why didn't the Republicans get approval to build the Wall over the previous year, it is because IN THE SENATE WE NEED 10 DEMOCRAT VOTES, and they will gives us "NONE" for Border Security!", he tweeted. He also said the compromise should include changes in federal law to discourage people from trying to enter the US illegally.

At least 56% of Americans oppose Trump's border wall idea, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released on Friday. Pelosi will lead House Democrats in voting on a bill to reopen the government when they take power in the House on January 3.

The plan is unlikely to go anywhere unless Trump concedes he will not get his border wall imminently.

Democratic House sources Monday said their plan was to "isolate" the problem and "hopefully" open the majority of the government, while punting the larger conversation on immigration and border security.

Talks have been at a stalemate for more than a week, after Democrats said the White House offered to accept $US2.5 billion for border security last Saturday.

In morning tweets, Trump sought to blame the media for the discrepancy and said he still envisions an "all concrete" wall in some areas but that a "see through" barrier at the U.S.

House Democrats said they plan to introduce a legislative package later Monday to re-open the government, including a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through February 8 with $1.3 billion for border security, but it's unclear what kind of support it will get from Republicans.

The government in on day ten of a partial shutdown as Republicans and Democrats are in the midst of a show down over $5 billion in funding for Trump's border wall.

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".

So did President Trump make the right call to shut down the government during the remaining days of a Republican-controlled Congress? The outgoing Kelly said he had "nothing but compassion" for undocumented migrants crossing into the USA and undercut the idea of a border wall in an interview on Sunday that jarred with Trump's tough rhetoric on immigration.

Trump suggested as much again in a tweet on Sunday (Monday NZT): "President and Mrs Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their DC mansion/compound".

President Donald Trump's White House counselor Kellyanne Conway took a shot at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday, calling out the top Democrat for going on a lavish Hawaiian vacation while the president remains in Washington, D.C.in hopes to work out a deal to end the partial government shutdown.

The partial government shutdown is in its second week over Trump's demand for $5 billion for the wall.

The House is planning two separate votes for Thursday. The president says a wall - barriers, the president says they need steel slats. If some moderates start to balk at Trump's hard-line strategy, they could back a bill to reopen the government and raise the prospect of overriding a Trump veto. When asked how long he thought the shutdown would last, Trump told reporters, "Whatever it takes".

A former Marine general who led the military command responsible for Latin America, Kelly was Trump's Homeland Security secretary before becoming White House chief of staff in July past year.

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