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The Latest: Trump’s wall may be different than advertised

December 31, 2018
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The North Portico of the White House is seen, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, in Washington. The partial government shutdown will almost certainly be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year, as both parties traded blame Friday and President Donald Trump sought to raise the stakes in the weeklong impasse. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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The North Portico of the White House is seen, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, in Washington. The partial government shutdown will almost certainly be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year, as both parties traded blame Friday and President Donald Trump sought to raise the stakes in the weeklong impasse. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on partial shutdown of the federal government, now in its second week. (all times local):

6:50 p.m.

Three confidants of President Donald Trump are indicating that the president’s signature campaign pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border won’t be fulfilled as advertised.

Trump sparked fervent chants of “Build that wall!” at rallies before and after his election and more recently cited a lack of funding for a border wall as the reason for partially shutting down the government.

However, White House chief of staff John Kelly told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Sunday that Trump abandoned the notion of “a solid concrete wall early on in the administration.”

Meanwhile, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway calls discussion of the apparent contradiction “a silly semantic argument.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham had lunch Sunday with Trump and calls the wall “a metaphor for border security.”

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Some federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown are facing uncertainty as they return to work after the Christmas holiday. About 420,000 who are considered essential are working unpaid. (Dec. 26)

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4:01 p.m.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says President Donald Trump is open-minded about combining wall funding with other things to end a partial government shutdown.

Graham met with the president at the White House on Sunday. Graham says Republicans are going to put on the negotiating table ideas that Democrats have embraced in the past.

Graham is specifically calling for helping young “Dreamer” immigrants remain in the U.S. as well as another 400,000 people from countries struggling with natural disasters or armed conflicts.

Graham says Trump is receptive to making a deal if it achieves his goal of securing the border.

He says the question for lawmakers is “can we stop hating each other enough up here to find a way forward that would be a win-win.”

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3 p.m.

The outgoing White House chief of staff says President Donald Trump long ago backed away from his campaign pledge to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president’s demand for “border security” funding triggered a partial government shutdown with no end in sight.

John Kelly leaves his post Wednesday after a tumultuous 17 months in the job. He tells the Los Angeles Times that Trump abandoned the notion of “a solid concrete wall early on in the administration.”

He says the mix of technological enhancements and “steel slat” barriers the president now wants along the border resulted from conversations with law enforcement professionals on the ground.

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10 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is not reaching out to Democrats as a partial government shutdown appears set to extend into the new year.

Counselor Kellyanne Conway tells Fox News Sunday that Trump is waiting for Democrats to reach out to him. She says of the negotiations: “It is with them.”

The two sides are at a stalemate over Trump’s demand for billions for a U.S.-Mexico border wall that Democrats are intent on blocking. Trump has faced mounting conservative criticism for his inability to deliver on his core campaign promise.

Conway claims “the president has already compromised” by dropping his request for the wall from $25 billion to $5 billion. The White House has dropped its request further to $2.5 billion, but Democrats are holding the line against funding the wall.

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12:08 a.m.

President Donald Trump was firing Twitter barbs at Democrats this weekend as talks to end a weeklong partial government shutdown remained at a stalemate.

Trump was cooped up in the White House after canceling a vacation to his private Florida club.

As the disruption in federal services and public employees’ pay appeared set to continue into the new year, there were no signs of any substantive negotiation between the blame-trading parties. Trump held out for billions in federal funds for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which Democrats have said they were intent on blocking.

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