Inside the White House, the Trump team is increasingly aware that the president is trapped.
Facing a Republican Party unwilling to back another government shutdown or a national emergency declaration to build his border wall, President Donald Trump is in an unfamiliar position, according to multiple White House officials and lawmakers: prepared, potentially, to accept a compromise foisted on him by Congress.
Only a few days ago, Trump called a committee tasked with hammering out a border-security deal “a waste of time.”
But he seemed warm to the idea of a bipartisan deal on Thursday after he met with Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Shelby later briefed Senate Republicans on their meeting at a party lunch, which left them hopeful the president would be willing to support something that gives him more money for fencing — even if it isn’t the $5.7 billion he’s been seeking, said one attendee.
“He’ll consider any kind of reasonable proposition … there’s a general openness,” said Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, a vulnerable GOP senator who stuck by Trump amid the politically debilitating 35-day shutdown. “He’s obviously going to fulfill his campaign promise, and there’s got to be some earnest progress. It’s not like he’s going to acquiesce. But I do believe he’s showing good faith.”