Politics

TRUMP STUMPED: President May Sign Deal He’s ‘Not Happy’ With

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump expressed unhappiness with a tentative congressional deal that provides some funding for his proposed wall along the U.S. southern border during a Tuesday afternoon Cabinet meeting.

“I have to study it. I’m not happy about it. It’s not doing the trick, but I’m adding things to it. I will add whatever I have to add,” Trump said of the deal, adding, “Am I happy at first glance? I just got to see it. The answer is no. I’m not. I’m not happy. But am I happy with where we are going? I am thrilled.”

The president continued that he does not believe there will be another partial government shutdown over the border wall dispute. Congressional negotiators announced an agreement to avoid another government shutdown. The deal includes $1.375 billion in funding for a barrier along the U.S. southern border and funding for approximately 40,000 beds for ICE detention beds. (RELATED: Raid Leads To More Than 100 ICE Arrests In New York)

Trump at no point in his extended riff ruled out signing the bill.

Men from Mexico climb the US-Mexico border wall in Playas de Tijuana, northwestern Mexico, November 18, 2018. (Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP)

Democrats notably dropped their demand in the agreement to limit the number of beds ICE is able to use for criminal illegal alien enforcement, removing the main poison pill for The White House in the deal. Despite this however, Trump’s ire is likely directed at the low dollar amount figure given to him by the congressional negotiators. 

Trump told negotiators privately in recent weeks that he was willing to accept approximately $2 billion in wall funding, a substantial compromise from his original demand of $5.7 billion. The bill is a result of a three-week negotiation process following a partial government shutdown of nearly 35 days.

Two sources close to the process told The Daily Caller earlier Tuesday that they believe some back and forth over the contours of the deal with Congress is still possible, but said they’re optimistic about a path forward before funding for the government ends Feb 15. These sources say that Trump is likely to agree to the deal while also pursuing executive actions to tap additional sources of funding.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney outlined the administration plan on Fox News, saying Sunday, “We’ll take as much money as you can give us and then we’ll go off and find the money someplace else, legally, in order to secure that southern barrier, but this is going to get built with or without Congress.”

“There are certain funds of money that he can get to without declaring a national emergency and other funds that he can only get to after declaring a national emergency,” Mulvaney said.