White House counselor Kellyanne Conway backed away from President Donald Trump’s pledge to build border wall calling it a ‘silly semantic argument’ and arguing patrol agents need ‘enhancements’ to do their jobs.
‘It is a silly semantic argument because people who just want to say wall, wall, wall, wanted to be a four-letter word,’ she said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’
She went on to say Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents say they need ‘ enhancements of the border. There may be a wall in some places, there may be steel slats, there may be technological enhancements. But always saying wall or no wall is being very disingenuous and turning the complete blind eye to what is a crisis at the border when it comes to the drugs pouring in.’
Her argument appears to be a step back from Trump’s vow on the 2016 campaign trail to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border but it falls in lock step with recent statements out of the administration.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway backed away from promising to build a border wall – a move that follows other administration officials
President Donald Trump has taken to talking about steel slats
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly noted: ‘To be honest, it’s not a wall’
The president himself has touted steel slats on twitter, posting pictures of those types of barriers as he argues for the funds to build the project as the federal government enters day nine of a partial shutdown.
And, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly noted: ‘To be honest, it’s not a wall.’
‘The president still says ‘wall’ – oftentimes frankly he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s tended toward steel slats. But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it,’ he said.
The White House and Democrats are locked between the $5.6 billion Trump is demanding and the $1.3 billion Democrats have offered.
Negotiations are at a stand still over the holiday season.
Conway sought to put the blame on Democrats, calling the president’s demand a ‘modest investment’ in border security.
‘Nancy Pelosi needs to comeback from Hawaii, less hula more moola,’ she said.
Pelosi was spotted at a luxury hotel in Hawaii over the holidays.
Her office says the White House hasn’t contacted them since December 11, when Trump said at a tense meeting he would claim the ‘mantle’ of a shutdown.
But Conway pushed back, saying the Democrats need to be reaching out to the president.
‘He’s ready to receive a counter offer from the Democrats. It’s been many, many days since the House passed its $5.6 billion for border security. If it’s not restricted to just a wall. They need technological enhancements, physical barriers, the steel slats the president has tweeted about and talked about,’ she said.
‘The Democrats have simply shut down the discussions. They did not even counter us. We went back to them after the second 1.3 billion and picked a number less than five. We actually came off of our $5 billion slightly. Instead of coming up from the $1.3 billion, they left town,’ Conway added.
The government is entering day nine of a partial government shut down with negotiations at a stand still.
It appears as if things are a stand still until the New Year and possibly until Democrats take control of the House of Representatives on Jan. 3.
The House and Senate gaveled in and out of session in under five minutes on Thursday. No votes are scheduled for either chamber.
They will be back in session on Monday for a pro forma – in which no business is conducted – but will not formally gavel in until Wednesday.
Lawmakers have been promised 24 hours notice for votes so they have time to get back to Washington D.C.
A man holds a Mexican migrant child as he jumps the border fence to get into the U.S. side to San Diego, Calif., from Tijuana, Mexico
Mexican migrant child Kevin Andres, from Guerrero state, crosses the U.S.-Mexico border fence from Tijuana to San Diego County
Trump has refused to accept a bill that does not include at least $2.5 billion for the border wall – down from his original demand of $5 billion – but Democrats have said they will not go above $1.3 billion they have already offered.
Democrats are looking at several options to get the government funded when they retake control of the House of Representatives on Jan. 3 but they do not seem to be backing down from the $1.3 billion they’ve offered.
But Conway told CNN the president could veto any of their options.
‘Depends what’s in it. The president likes the $5.6 billion in the house package,’ she said on ‘State of the Union.’