- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

President Trump said Tuesday on Twitter that he hadn’t changed his stance on building a border wall, defending his apparent decision to remove funding for the project from budget negotiations to avoid a possible government shutdown this week.

“Don’t let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL. It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.,” the president tweeted.

Mr. Trump signaled Monday evening that he was backing off on his demand of initial funding to build a wall on the border with Mexico. He told a gathering of around 20 conservative media reporters that he would be willing to return to the funding issue in September.

The demand for border wall money had become a major sticking point in negotiations on Capitol Hill for a spending bill to keep the government running passed a Friday deadline when current funding expires.

Congress is scrambling to pass the bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30. The administration likely has funds available for early planning of the wall project, but additional funds would have to be authorized for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

During the campaign, Mr. Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall. He has not entirely backed off that pledge, insisting the Mexico will repay the U.S. one way or another.

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