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US President Donald Trump Doubts Lawmakers Will Reach Border Wall Deal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump's offer was a "non-starter"

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Americans Losing faith in government. VOA

US President Donald Trump said that he doubts lawmakers will reach a deal over the new border wall funding that he will accept and said he would build it anyway with emergency powers if necessary, the Wall Street Journal said in a report.

Donald Trump said he thinks the chances of a new deal being reached before the government shuts down again because of lack of funding in less than three weeks are “less than 50-50”, CNN quoted the Journal report as saying on Sunday.

Another government shutdown is “certainly an option”, Trump said.

Trump’s reported comments come after the longest government shutdown in US history ended on Friday.

The shutdown that began on December 22 lasted for more than a month and led to hundreds of thousands of government employees missing two paychecks as Trump demanded new funding for the US-Mexico border wall, which Democrats refused.

The agreement Donald Trump signed on Friday that temporarily reopened the government does not provide any new money for the wall.

Trump, Shutdown
Donald Trump. VOA

When asked by the Journal if he would accept less than $5.7 billion to build the wall, Trump said: “I doubt it… I have to do it right.”

Donald Trump told the Journal that he doubts he would agree to a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US illegally when they were children, known as Dreamers, in exchange for new border wall funding.

“That’s a separate subject to be taken up at a separate time,” he said.

Also Read- NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover Might Have ‘Died’, Fear Scientists

Last week, the President offered temporary protection for some undocumented immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion for his wall, but Democrats swiftly rejected the proposal, CNN reported.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s offer was a “non-starter”.

When asked by the Journal about the kind of barrier he would accept on the southern border, Trump said: “I have to see what it is. As long as it can stop criminals, gangs, human trafficking and drugs, I’m open to anything. But the only thing that will work is a very strong form of physical barrier.” (IANS)

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White House Condemns Any Link of President Donald Trump to Accused New Zealand Shooter

Trump was widely attacked in the aftermath of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 when he equated white supremacists with counter-protesters, saying "both sides" were to blame and that there were "fine people" on both sides of the protest.

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In this Jan. 2, 2019, file photo White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington. VOA

The White House on Sunday rejected any attempt to link President Donald Trump to the white supremacist accused of gunning down 50 people at two New Zealand mosques.

“The president is not a white supremacist,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told the “Fox News Sunday” show. “I’m not sure how many times we have to say that. Let’s take what happened in New Zealand [Friday] for what it is: a terrible evil tragic act.”

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The statement renewed criticism that Trump has not voiced strong enough condemnation of white nationalists. VOA

Alleged gunman Brenton Harris Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, said in a 74-page manifesto he released shortly before the massacre unfolded at mosques in Christchurch that he viewed Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” but did not support his policies.

The statement renewed criticism that Trump has not voiced strong enough condemnation of white nationalists.

Asked Friday after the mosque attacks whether he sees an increase in white nationalism, Trump said, “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess.” He said he had not seen the manifesto.

Mulvaney said, “I don’t think it’s fair to cast this person as a supporter of Donald Trump any more than it is to look at his eco-terrorist passages in that manifesto and align him with [Democratic House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi or Ms. Ocasio-Cortez,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congresswoman.

“This was a disturbed individual, an evil person,” he said.

Donald Trump
“The president is not a white supremacist,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told the “Fox News Sunday” show. “I’m not sure how many times we have to say that. Let’s take what happened in New Zealand [Friday] for what it is: a terrible evil tragic act.” VOA
Scott Brown, the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, told CNN that he gave no credence to Tarrant’s comments about Trump in the manifesto, saying the accused gunman “is rotten to the core.” Brown said he hopes Tarrant is convicted “as quickly as he can be” and the key to his prison cell thrown away.

Also Read: Did You Know? IOM States Latin America as World’s Deadliest Route for Migrants

Trump was widely attacked in the aftermath of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 when he equated white supremacists with counter-protesters, saying “both sides” were to blame and that there were “fine people” on both sides of the protest.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, one of numerous Democrats seeking the party’s presidential nomination to oppose Trump in the 2020 election, said on Twitter after the New Zealand attack, “Time and time again, this president has embraced and emboldened white supremacists and instead of condemning racist terrorists, he covers for them. This isn’t normal or acceptable.” (VOA)