President Trump will accept the bipartisan spending deal to avert another government shutdown even though it includes just $1.375 billion to install barriers along the southern border, instead of the $5.7 billion Trump wanted, an unnamed conservative House member told CNN Tuesday.
Then, the representative added, Trump will simply "use executive action" to spend more money on border wall construction without congressional approval. The end result, the lawmaker said, is that the government will stay open and lawsuits will be filed over Trump's choice.
This prediction fits with Sunday comments from acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who said on Fox News that the administration would "take as much money as [Congress] can give us, and then we will go off and find [more] money someplace else" for wall construction. Trump can "sort of move money around," Mulvaney argued, repeatedly insisting this will all be legal.
The White House wanted the FBI and other agencies investigating the matter to say that the Feb. 14 reports from The New York Times and CNN were false and the two sides never communicated, the officials said, but FBI Director James Comey rejected the request, made by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, because of the ongoing investigation of ties between Trump associates and Russians known to U.S. intelligence. The White House is not supposed to directly communicate with the FBI, and such a request violates procedures that limit contact with the FBI over pending investigations. Catherine Garcia