In a matter of hours, Trump reverses position on whether he'll consider a government shutdown to fund a border wall

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump

  • On Monday, President Donald Trump suggested to The Daily Caller that he would not force a government shutdown at the end of the month to secure more money for a promised wall along the US-Mexico border.
  • “I don’t like the idea of shutdowns,” Trump said.
  • On Tuesday, Trump completely reversed course in a meeting with GOP lawmakers.
  • “If it happens it happens,” Trump said. “If it’s about border security, I’m willing to do anything.”
  • Trump has previously threatened to shut down the government, saying the US “needs a good ‘shutdown.'”

President Donald Trump completed a reversal on the subject of a month-end government shutdown in less than 24 hours.

In an interview with The Daily Caller on Tuesday, Trump dismissed the idea of shutting down the government to extract more funding for the promised wall along the US-Mexico border.

“Well, I want to keep, I don’t like the idea of shutdowns,” Trump said.

“Border security is a very important issue,” the president said. “I don’t see even myself or anybody else closing down the country right now.”

During a meeting with congressional Republican leaders on Wednesday, however, Trump was singing a different tune.

“If it happens it happens,” Trump said when asked about the possibility of a shutdown. “If it’s about border security, I’m willing to do anything. We have to protect our borders. If we don’t protect our borders our country isn’t going to be a country, so if it’s about border security I’m willing to do what has to be done.”

The federal government will enter a shutdown at the end of September unless Congress passes a new funding bill.

The border wall was one of Trump’s signature campaign promises and a focal point in previous government funding battles during the president’s tenure. But Trump didn’t seem willing to go to the shutdown option to get more money for the wall.

In previous shutdown fights, Trump has repeatedly suggested that a shutdown could be beneficial to the country.

“Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” Trump tweeted in May 2017 after signing a short-term funding bill.

In March, Trump also threatened to veto the omnibus spending bill which would have plunged the government into another shutdown but gave in at the last minute. But while signing that bill, Trump also threatened to “never sign another bill like this again.”

Part of Trump’s problem with the previous omnibus spending bill, in addition to the slapdash nature of its passage, was the lack of funding for the border wall in the bill. While the measure included additional funding for border security, there were no funds to build a new wall.

In the Daily Caller interview, Trump claimed to have received $US3.2 billion in funding for the border wall and said the administration has already “done a lot of work on the wall.” But the previous funding bill allocated just $US1.6 billion worth of funds for border security, which could only be used to secure existing fence.

Another $US1.6 billion is in the Senate’s proposed funding bill for fiscal year 2019, which starts in October, while the House is looking to allocate more. Those bills are not guaranteed to pass.

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