John Kelly says Trump abandoned wall plan months ago

Outgoing White House chief John Kelly said in an interview published Sunday that he had "nothing but compassion" for undocumented migrants crossing into the USA, and undercut President Donald Trump's claims to be building a "wall" at the Mexico border.

Speaking with the Times, m Kelly claimed, "To be honest, it's not a wall".

He went on: "The president still says "wall" - oftentimes frankly he'll say "barrier" or 'fencing, ' now he's tended toward steel slats".

"For those that naively ask why didn't the Republicans get approval to build the Wall over the past year, it is because IN THE SENATE WE NEED 10 DEMOCRAT VOTES, and they will gives us "NONE" for Border Security!"

Trump's tweets come as Congress has effectively given up on breaking the impasse over the President's demands for border-wall funding, all but ensuring that the partial government shutdown will stretch into at least the start of the new year.

While the president threatened on Friday to close the southern U.S. border with Mexico over the shutdown, the White House shifted their focus and placed the blame on Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Democrats are refusing to provide billions for Trump's border wall project and the president insists he will not fully fund the government unless he gets the money. This means the shutdown will likely be in effect when the new democratic-controlled House takes over on January 3.

Democrats have blamed Trump for "plunging the country into chaos" and have noted that, weeks ago, Trump said he would be "proud" to "own" a shutdown over border wall funding.

He added: "If we had a Wall, they wouldn't even try!"

"There's not a single Democrat talking to the president of the United States about this deal", Mulvaney said Friday.

Fox News has learned that behind the scenes this weekend, several senators are discussing a new potential compromise to end the ongoing partial federal government shutdown. The president left the White House on Christmas to travel to Iraq and meet with American troops stationed overseas.

A dispute over funding for Mr Trump's proposed wall has led to "non-essential" operations at numerous agencies being closed for lack of funding.

"This is not Pelosi's first holiday vacation to Hawaii".

Lindsay Graham, who said he hoped to end the shutdown by offering Democrats incentives to get them to vote for wall funding. "What happened was Jeff Sessions, he was the one that instituted the zero-tolerance process on the border that resulted in both people being detained and the family separation", Kelly said.

Donald Trump has 5 more days to spin his border wall story into a spaghetti bowl of cultural and racial falsehoods.

He also said the compromise should include changes in federal law to discourage people from trying to enter the US illegally. It's been many, many days since the House passed its $5.6 billion for border security.

Congressional leaders remained out of town, while Trump returned to Washington early Thursday from an unannounced visit to United States troops in Iraq.

As the former head of Southern Command from Latin America to the U.S. -Mexico border, Kelly did acknowledge "we do have an immigration problem", but it has to be resolved by Congress and not the White House, military, or border patrol bearing all of the burden.