President Trump is not backing off his funding demand for a southern border wall, and doesn't care how he gets the funding from Congress, according to his chief lobbyist.
Sweeping away suggestions the president has a legislative package in mind, and might even trade for the money with a watered-down alternative to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program he killed last week, Marc Short left no doubt that the wall is still on.
"I'm cautious," Short said, of having the media "write that the president backs off border wall. That's not the position that I am anywhere trying to convey. The president is committed to sticking by his commitment that a physical structure is what is needed to help protect the American people."
Short, assistant to the president and director of the Office of Legislative Affairs, added, "Whether or not that is specifically part of a DACA package or in a different legislative package, I'm not going to prejudge here today. But he is committed to making sure that that wall is built."
The administration's flexibility on the issue echoes that of some GOP congressional leaders who don't want the wall funding to be part of the DACA negotiations. The president has given Congress six months to come up with a DACA fix.
He spoke at a media breakfast roundtable sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org