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White House: Trump would accept less money for border wall

White House: Trump would accept less money for border wall

The Democratic leaders added that Trump is beholden to "right-wing radio and TV hosts" on the issue of the wall, and that "different people from the same White House are saying different things about what the president would accept or not", making it impossible to negotiate.

Republican and Democratic senators alike expressed grave concern about Mattis's departure, which was spurred by Trump's decision to pull us troops from Syria, despite the objections of military leaders and his own defense secretary.

With ultra-conservative lawmakers and media commentators demanding that the president stick to his campaign promises, Trump stood his ground on the wall.

Most of the existing fencing along the U.S. -Mexico border was erected with the 2006 funding.

The shutdown is on day three.

Trump told House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican leaders at the White House he wouldn't sign a Senate-passed compromise bill, which would have kept border security money at $1.3 billion, not the $5 billion he wanted for the wall with Mexico.

The standoff between Trump and Senate Democrats led to the closure of about one-quarter of the U.S. federal government on midnight Friday, and with most of Congress out of town for the Christmas holiday, lawmakers say there is little prospect of ending the dispute until after the new year.

The director's comment about the president's softening stance came less than 24 hours after a senior administration official insisted to reporters on Saturday that Congress give into Trump's demands, highlighting the unpredictable nature of Trump's negotiating style.

On the second day of the partial government shutdown, President Donald Trump is again turning to Twitter to try to make his case for a border wall with Mexico - the sticking point in the budget impasse with Congress.

Typically in the event of a shutdown, some federal employees deemed essential continue to work, but their pay is withheld until the shutdown is over, while other federal employees are placed on furlough, meaning they are effectively put on a leave of absence without pay.

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The October 2013 shutdown, which lasted 16 days, happened after the House and Senate deadlocked over the Affordable Care Act.

The White House, meanwhile, said Trump was meeting Monday afternoon with DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen and other department officials "to discuss border security".

Trump had already declared Monday, Christmas Eve, a federal holiday.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, blamed the shutdown on a "remarkable two-week temper tantrum" by the president, who he said could reopen the government if he would "abandon the wall".

But after Vice-President Mike Pence left Capitol Hill, after more fruitless talks, Richard Shelby of Alabama, the Republican chair of the Senate appropriations committee, said a quick end to the shutdown was "not probable".

Mr Trump tweeted on Saturday: "I am in the White House, working hard".

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently threatened a prolonged shutdown during a speech on the Senate floor.

"There is no question that her speakership seems to be in balance against border security", the South Carolina Republican told Fox News' "Outnumbered Overtime".

Democrats have said they are open to budget proposals that do not include the wall, which they say would be costly and ineffective.

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