Trump backs down over border wall

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In explaining his reasoning for a potential declaration, the president criticized Democrats, and specifically House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for continuing to deny him funding for his desired border wall.

"I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting our country very badly by doing what's she doing and, ultimately, I think I've set the table very nicely", the president added in the interview in the Oval Office, amid signs that he could be losing leverage in Congress as lawmakers race to avert another shutdown in the government. "Democrats should be ashamed of themselves". "Let them have that discussion", she said of the conferees. And almost one in three Republicans and GOP-leaning independents said they would like to nominate someone other than Trump to be the Republican presidential candidate in 2020, the poll found. But they'll say that somebody from some country stayed at a hotel. But on Thursday he described negotiations with opposition Democrats "a waste of time".

Yet Pelosi's other remark - "There's not going to be any wall money in the legislation" - underscored the linguistic battle underway.

Democrats are offering further details of their border security plan. The House and Senate formed the conference committee with the goal of reaching a deal on border security before the next shutdown deadline of February 15.

Timothy Ballard, CEO of Operation Underground Railroad and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen listen as President Trump speaks during an event on human trafficking in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Feb. 1, 2019, in Washington.

"He will offer a choice of either working together and doing great things or fighting each other and doing nothing", said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Amid signs that Trump's leverage in Congress is atrophying, he seemed to aim one tweet at his conservative followers.

Trump also touted what he said were his successes in Syria, where he has alarmed allies by abruptly announcing a withdrawal of U.S. troops assisting local forces against the Islamic State group, and in North Korea.

Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage launched the "We the People Will Build the Wall" campaign on the fundraising website. It would significantly boost spending for scanners at ports of entry, humanitarian aid for apprehended migrants, and new aircraft and ships to police the U.S. -Mexico border.

Even as the president continued to make his case about the security situation at the southern border and said that a national emergency option would "help the process" of building his barrier, he also claimed that a wall is already under construction.

He and his advisers do not believe the shutdown fight will give him lasting scars.

Dustin Stockton, one of the leaders on the project, said the organizers are hopeful about overcoming legal and environmental issues, adding that construction could start within "months, not years".

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