Trump's chief of staff disowns pledge on Mexico wall

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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly laid out what exactly the president wants in a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program during a Wednesday night Fox News segment.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told a group of Hispanic lawmakers his boss's campaign promises about immigration policy had been "uninformed" as he ran for the presidency.

He said Mr Trump had "changed his attitude" towards the wall when the "real experts" at Homeland Security told him that there were places along the border where a wall would not be "realistic" due to the terrain. "Parts of it will be, of necessity, see through [sic] and it was never meant to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water".

"Kelly took credit for educating the President on the wall and that a concrete barrier from sea to shining sea was no longer the conception of border security barriers supported today by the White House", he said.

"I spent a fair amount of time on the hill today speaking to members of Congress, both sides of the aisle... and it would seem to have the votes to continue funding the military, take care of the child health care issue, and perhaps some other things", Kelly said.

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"The $20 billion dollar Wall is "peanuts" compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!" he said, reasserting his position on the trade pact which is now being renegotiated. The president has recently begun to temper his own statements about the wall, telling a group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the White House last week that a 2,000-mile structure would not be needed because parts of the border would be impassible.

Bipartisan Senate negotiators have come to terms on a deal to protect "dreamers", as young immigrants brought to the US illegally as children are known. Kelly met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Wednesday to see if a deal could be made. As Kelly reportedly told the Democrats, a physical wall constructed along every inch of the country's border isn't physically tenable.

Since then, administration officials have indicated that the president thinks that amount of wall funding is insufficient.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, meanwhile, said there's "very, very strong" sentiment among Democrats in the chamber to oppose the GOP-drafted legislation to keep the government's doors open.

Prototypes of border walls in San Diego. "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".

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In the meantime, the White House is rejecting Sen.

"It's the opposite of what I campaigned for", Trump said. He said it was more likely that the U.S. would recoup the money from visa fees and renegotiation the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But according to one person familiar with the president's thinking, Trump was livid when he learned that Kelly had described him as "evolving" in his immigration position.

Kelly confirmed his remarks in an interview to Fox News, the president's go-to news channel for news and views, saying, "He has evolved in the way he looks at things. Campaigns and governing are two different things". "That's what I understood, and all of that was helpful".

The Republicans fighting to strike a stopgap deal to fund the government and the Democrats want to include protection for the Dreamers in the Bill. 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".

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