Construction of the first extension of the current barriers, 14 miles of a levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley sector, is slated to begin this month, but a butterfly center has asked a judge to block the construction as the barrier would bisect its property.
In his remarks on Tuesday, Mr. Trump flip-flopped again on taking responsibility for the government shutdown that ended last month without any money for the wall. During the weeks leading up to the impasse that closed federal agencies, Mr. Trump said he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security” and would not blame Democrats.
But during the shutdown, as 800,000 federal workers were caught in the middle without paychecks, he blamed Democrats after all, singling out their leaders, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. “At this point it has become their, and the Democrats, fault!” he wrote on Twitter.
On Tuesday, he switched gears again and took responsibility.
“I accepted the first one, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished because people learned during that shutdown all about the problems coming in from the southern border,” he said. “I accept it. I’ve always accepted it. But this one, I would never accept it if it happens, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. But this would be totally on the Democrats.”
Republican leaders, including Mr. McConnell, have embraced the newly brokered agreement as the best they can get to avoid another government shutdown by a Friday deadline. But conservative figures have protested loudly. “Any Republican that supports this garbage compromise, you’ll have to explain,” Sean Hannity, the Fox News host who is close to Mr. Trump, warned on air on Monday night.
The agreement includes a provision that could give the Trump administration broad discretion to increase the number of slots to shelter detained migrants, a win for Republicans that could ease the sting of Mr. Trump’s failure to secure full funding for his border wall.