President Donald Trump expressed dissatisfaction with the border security deal reached by congressional negotiators but noted that a second government shutdown was unlikely to happen.
He also didn’t immediately commit to signing the agreement reached late Monday to provide funding for the federal government and said he was looking into alternative ways to pay for the border wall.
“Am I happy? The answer is no, I’m not. I’m not happy,” President Trump said when questioned about the agreement during a meeting of his Cabinet at the White House, adding that he was still studying the details of the agreement. “I don’t think you’re going to see a shutdown,” he continued.
However, Trump refused to say whether he would reject the deal which would provide about $1.4 billion toward physical border barriers, but not a wall as he has demanded. It includes money for 55 new miles of bollard fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I’m adding things to it. It’s all going to happen, where we’re going to build a beautiful, big, strong wall,” Trump also said.
According to aides, the President is very likely to sign the measure, but nothing is certain. The White House has said Trump is still weighing his options.
“We’re not going to get into a conversation of what could be in this document. We want to focus on what’s actually in the document. Until we see that it’s going to be very difficult to have a conversation about what we will and won’t accept,” spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.
The President later said declaring a national emergency to get funding for his wall was also not off the table. Congressional Republicans are divided over an emergency declaration, which would be challenged in court.
The Trump administration may take funds from “far less important areas” in order to construct the wall, Trump added.