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Trump's immigration positions 'uninformed', says his chief of staff John Kelly

Trump's immigration positions 'uninformed', says his chief of staff John Kelly

The White house chief of staff warned Trump the agreement would incite anger among his base, who expect him to deliver on his promises to build a border wall and deport undocumented immigrants, according to two White House officials and a congressional source familiar with the situation.

President Donald Trump continues to spread the idea that he's building a giant wall along the southern border on Mexico's dime-but Trump's own chief of staff John Kelly said in a Wednesday interview that isn't exactly how it will work.

'The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it, ' the president tweeted.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning: "The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never meant to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water".

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., asked Kelly to explain some of Trump's campaign promises to construct a border wall. Trump said that Mexico will still pay "in some form", without elaborating.

He added that it "will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous 71 billion United States dollar (£51 billion) trade surplus with the USA".

Sticking points such as immigration remain, and President Trump has made it clear a shutdown would hurt the US military.

They also come as lawmakers struggle to reach a bipartisan deal protecting "dreamers" - around 800,000 people who arrived in the US illegally as children and could be deported without legal protections.

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The president's tweet came as Republicans and Democrats were scrambling to avert the shutdown, which could come at midnight Friday.

Kelly also reportedly said Mexico won't pay for a border wall. "There [are] other places we think about 800 miles [of] additional wall to include the 600 that's already in place...would suffice".

Prototypes of border walls in San Diego.

He also denied that the White House asked ex-communicated former adviser Steve Bannon to invoke executive privilege during his testimony to Congress this week on the Russian Federation investigation. "And the President has said from the beginning, it's got to be bipartisan and unless it involves the House as well as the Senate, it's going to go down again as a bill that does not pass into law".

"So he has evolved in the way he's looked at things", Mr Kelly said.

Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Thursday morning and was told there was a potential immigration deal, but Kelly wanted to make sure Trump heard from all the key players in the working immigration group before making a decision. While lawmakers made a point to say they appreciated the session, they expressed disappointment that Kelly had not come armed with any proposals to negotiate and that he didn't seem well-versed in the bipartisan proposals under development in Congress.

Multiple US media outlets are reporting that Mr Trump was "furious" at Mr Kelly's comments.

"Campaigning is very different from governing", Kelly added. "As I understand it, they have the votes and they are fairly confident". The bill would keep agencies open until mid-February and finance a popular children's health insurance program for a year. Protesters have rallied at offices of Senate Democrats, threatened primary foes for those who don't push hard enough for an immigration deal and promised to brand those deemed to have fallen short "the deportation caucus". The group has not officially opposed the bill, but several members said they want it to provide longer-term funding for the military.