As the April 28 deadline to keep the federal government open fast approaches, members of the Trump administration on Monday night and Tuesday morning made conflicting statements regarding the President’s demand that a temporary funding measure include money to start building a border wall.
Trump himself apparently told conservative reporters gathered at the White House on Monday night that he was open to waiting until September for funding for the border wall, according to One America News Network’s Trey Yingst. Trump’s reported comments mark a pivot from his administration’s talking points over the weekend. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Sunday that he expected Trump to be “insistent” about funding for the wall in the temporary funding measure this month.
On funding the border wall, Trump said he could get it this week or the administration could come back to it in September.
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) April 24, 2017
Unnamed White House officials confirmed to Politico and the Washington Post that Trump told representatives from conservative media outlets on Monday that he was open to waiting until September to fund the border wall.
During an interview on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway also suggested that Trump was open to delaying the border wall funding. Fox host Ainsley Earhardt mentioned that the White House may not get the funding this week, given Trump’s reported comments Monday night.
“Not this week, but the President made clear just yesterday, Ainsley, building a wall remains a very important priority to him,” Conway said in response. “Building that wall and having it funded remains an important priority to him. But we also know that that can happen later this year and into next year.”
However, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told ABC’s Jonathan Karl Tuesday morning that Trump has not backed down from his demand that a temporary measure to fund the federal government include money for the border wall.
Not so fast. @PressSec tells me @realDonaldTrump has not backed down on getting wall funding now; it remains a priority for both FY16 & '17
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) April 25, 2017
To confuse matters further, Trump published a cryptic tweet Tuesday morning blasting the fake media and saying that he hasn’t changed his position on the wall. However, his tweet did not address the timing of funding.
Don't let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL. It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017