Communications Breakdown Between Trump, Democrats as Shutdown Enters a Second Week

Outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly finally got real in his final interview with The Los Angeles Times before leaving the Trump administration.

They intend to hold the vote on Thursday when they take power but the president has threatened not to sign any measure that doesn't fund his wall and the Senate has said they will not take up any legislation that Trump won't sign - a signal the stand off will continue.

A former Marine general who led the military command responsible for Latin America, Kelly was Trump's Homeland Security secretary before becoming White House chief of staff in July previous year. "Democrats, come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for Border Security, including the Wall", Trump tweeted.

"This isn't that hard: All Senate Republicans have to do is pass legislation they have already supported on a bipartisan basis", said on House Democratic aide.

In a tweet on Friday, Trump warned: "word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it".

"He's in the - he's in the White House".

According to a House Democratic aide, the party is set announce a vote Thursday on a series of measures that would reopen the government.

In comments that are likely to irritate his boss, Kelly said the way to halt illegal immigration was to "stop USA demand for drugs, and expand economic opportunity" in Central America.

The plan is to pass two separate bills, one reopening eight departments - which have been closed since December 22 - through September 2019 and another temporarily reopening the Department of Homeland Security through February 8, two House Democratic aides said Monday.

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he hoped to end the shutdown by offering Democrats incentives to get them to vote for wall funding.

In a departure from the stance taken by his boss, Kelly said the way to halt illegal immigration was to "stop USA demand for drugs, and expand economic opportunity" in Central America.

On CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Shelby urged both sides to stop the blame game and said Democrats should articulate what kind of border security they can support.




Mr Kelly's statement marked the starkest admission yet by the President's inner circle that Mr Trump's signature campaign pledge, which sparked fervent chants of "build that wall" during rallies, would not be fulfilled as advertised. They have largely left the negotiations to Trump and Democrats, and it's unclear if McConnell would consider any of the bills the House, under Pelosi, could pass.

"It is with them", she said, explaining why Trump was not reaching out to Democrats.

Democratic House sources Monday said their plan was to "isolate" the problem and "hopefully" open the majority of the government, while punting the larger conversation on immigration and border security.

As president, however, Trump has sought US taxpayer funding, but Congress has balked, leading to the ongoing shutdown of a quarter of USA government operations, furloughing 800,000 government workers and forcing another 420,000 to work without pay.

Once Democrats gain majority in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi is likely to be sworn in as the next Speaker of the House.

In a tweet Saturday, Trump linked Democrats' "pathetic immigration policies" with the deaths of two Guatemalan children while in US custody.

Asked about the startling rhetoric, Mulvaney told Fox that Trump "is trying to draw light to the fact this is a insane discussion to be having".

"Democrats have a chance here to work with me and others, including the president, to bring legal status to people who have very uncertain lives", Graham said.

President Trump spent the last day of 2018 in much the same way he began the year - venting his anger on Twitter.

But Graham said there would never be a government spending deal that did not include money for a wall or other physical barriers on the southern border.

An estimated 380,000 federal employees in those departments have been furloughed and another 420,000 will have to work without pay.

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