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Trump is ‘Looking for Land Mines’ in Border Deal

"I don't want to see a shutdown. A shutdown would be a terrible thing," Trump said.

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Donald Trump, Mexico
Senior Democrats have responded by accusing him of committing a "gross abuse of power" and a "lawless act". VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he has made no decision on whether to sign proposed bipartisan legislation for limited new barrier construction along the U.S.-Mexico border in order to avert another partial government shutdown Friday over the dispute.

“We’ll be looking for land mines [in the bill]” but “we have not gotten it yet,” Trump said in response to reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with Colombian President Ivan Duque.

The president, however, indicated he was pleased with preliminary figures in the border security deal worked out by a committee of Republicans and Democrats, saying “total funding is almost up to $23 billion, it’s about 8 percent higher.”

Trump called Democrats stingy when it comes to funding for the wall.

“We’re building a lot of wall right now with money that we already have,” added Trump, explaining that there are “a lot of options” to complete the border barrier’s construction.

“We’re going to have a great wall, it’s going to be a great, powerful wall” with technology, including drones, explained the president.

“I don’t want to see a shutdown. A shutdown would be a terrible thing,” Trump said.

The bipartisan agreement reached by lawmakers gives Trump less than a quarter of the $5.7 billion he has been demanding for wall construction, which was a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign.

Donald Trump, US
FILE – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., arrives at the Capitol on the morning after House and Senate negotiators worked out a border security compromise hoping to avoid another government shutdown, in Washington, Feb. 12, 2019. VOA

Senator Lindsey Graham said he thinks the president will work with the expected legislation.

“If you can use the money the way he envisions for barriers and there is no limit on bed space in reality, he’d be inclined to take the deal and move on,” Graham, who said he spoke to Trump on Tuesday night, told reporters.

Graham said if the deal moves forward, Trump likely would seek from other places the remainder of the money needed to build a wall along the U.S. southern border and was “very inclined” to declare a national emergency to get those funds.

In a speech later in the day to a conference of police chiefs and sheriffs, Trump promised that as he considers the new proposal from Congress, “I will never waiver from my sacred duty to defend this nation and keep its people safe. We will get the job done.”

Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Major County Sheriffs and Major Cities Chiefs Association Joint Conference in Washington, Feb. 13, 2019. VOA

The president told law enforcement officials that the new border barrier that is “on its way” is a “big wall, a strong wall.”

Trump also characterized politicians who have been critical of immigration and border patrol officers as those “on the extreme edge of the political spectrum.” He said those on the “radical left” are “going further and further left all the time. And that’s not good.”

Trump suggested Tuesday that he would tap other government funds for wall construction without express authorization from Congress. Such a move would invite a legal challenge from opposition Democrats and other groups.

Neither the Senate nor the House of Representatives has voted yet on the legislation as aides continue to craft final language in the measure. To avert a new shutdown, both chambers have to approve the legislation, and Trump has to sign it before Friday midnight, when numerous federal agencies, including Homeland Security — which controls border operations —again run out of money.

Under Trump, Congress has not authorized any funding for a wall, one of Trump’s prime pledges during his successful 2016 campaign for the White House. But wall repairs and replacements for deteriorating sections along the 3,200-kilometer border have been ongoing.

Donald Trump
FILE – Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., center, leaves a news conference following a Senate policy luncheon after House and Senate negotiators worked out a border security compromise hoping to avoid another government shutdown on Capitol Hill, Feb. 12, 2019. VOA

The top leaders in the Senate, Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Chuck Schumer, both called on Trump to sign the compromise barrier funding legislation.

“I strongly urge the president to sign this agreement,” Schumer said Tuesday. “No one gets everything they want in these agreements. But the president must sign it and not, not, not cause another shutdown.”

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The package calls for new barriers in the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas, as well as technology upgrades for screening at border entry points, more customs officers and humanitarian aid. (VOA)

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Donald Trump Trolled on Twitter after He Says Moon is a Part Of Mars

As soon as Trump tweeted, people from around the world started trolling him with witty one-liners, jokes and memes

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Donald Trump, Trolled, Twitter
Trump's remarks came a day after NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told USA Today that US astronauts would not be able to make a lunar landing . VOA

US President Donald Trump has left people astonished with his knowledge of space and the universe and has become a laughing stock yet again after he claimed that the moon is a part of Mars.

In a tweet on Friday, he said: “For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defence and Science.”

Trump’s remarks came a day after NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told USA Today that US astronauts would not be able to make a lunar landing by 2024 unless Trump administration’s $1.6 billion budget increase request is not approved by the US Congress.

As soon as Trump tweeted, people from around the world started trolling him with witty one-liners, jokes and memes.

Donald Trump, Trolled, Twitter
US President Donald Trump has left people astonished with his knowledge of space . VOA

“Sigh! His dad must have paid his way through astronomy class too!” wrote American long-distance runner Ryan Hill.

“Trump’s knowledge on this matter is one small step for man, one giant leap backwards for mankind,” said Emmy-nominated filmmaker Jeremy Newberger.

“Based on the President’s track record here on Earth, I don’t think NASA needs his input on how to handle space,” tweeted Sam Vinograd, national security analyst at CNN.

Earlier in May, Trump, who is infamous for making controversial statements, war threats and spelling errors on his Twitter handle, confessed that he uses Twitter as a “typewriter”.

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Later, Twitter Co-founder, Ev Williams called Trump “master” of the platform, arguing the potential negative effects of the President’s tweets on the country’s political discourse are “trivial compared to the effect of the broader media”.

Mars has two moons – Phobos and Deimos – however, the Moon which orbits the Earth is not a part of the Red Planet. (IANS)