Trump Steps Back Border Wall Demand in Budget Fight
U.S. President Donald Trump remains committed to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but indicated Monday he is willing to wait until later this year for Congress to consider funding the project rather than insisting it be included in negotiations to avoid a government shut down this week.
The current spending plan for U.S. government operations runs out at midnight Friday, leaving Trump and congressional negotiators just days to reach an accord on funding priorities through the end of September.
In comments later confirmed by a White House official, Trump told a group of conservative journalists during a private meeting Monday that he could wait until September to reconsider funding for construction of the wall.
Democrats oppose the project, and the party's leaders in Congress welcomed Trump's shift.
"It's good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "Now the bipartisan negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues."
State Department Removes Mar-a-Lago Post
The U.S. State Department Monday removed a post from one of its websites describing President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, after receiving sharp criticism that the post appeared to promote the president's private business interests.
The content was part of a website named Share America and was published on April 4, but gained wide exposure after being shared on social media accounts of several U.S. embassies.
"The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the President has been hosting world leaders. We regret any misperception and have removed the post," reads a statement now posted in place of the original story.
Trump has owned Mar-a-Lago since 1985 and the club charges a membership fee that doubled in cost to $200,000 after his election in November. The president has visited there seven times since taking office, including trips to host Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Those trips have drawn their own scrutiny due to their expense.
A White House official, speaking to the Reuters news agency on the condition of anonymity, said the White House did not know about the article in advance, and declined to comment further on the matter.