with reporting by Nancy Cordes
President Trump, meeting with members of his Cabinet on Tuesday after pushing for his long-promised border wall at his first, expressed his displeasure with a border funding agreement reached by Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
“Am I happy at first glance? I just got to see it. The answer is no, I’m not. I’m not happy,” the president told reporters Tuesday. But am I happy with where we’re going? I’m thrilled. Because we’re supplementing things and moving things around and we’re doing things that are fantastic and taking from far less really from far less important areas, and the bottom line is we’re building a lot of wall, right now, we’re building a lot of wall.”
The president also said that while he still has “to study it,” he’s “adding things to it.” He also said he doesn’t think there will be another government shutdown, but if there is, it’ll be the fault of Democrats.
CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett reports that Mr. Trump is “likely” to sign the agreement, according to an official familiar.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday afternoon that the deal is set and currently being put into legislative language.
McConnell said he hopes the president will sign the bill — though he said he has not asked for or received that assurance yet. He appeared to be determined to push ahead with a vote even if he does not receive that promise. This course of action differs from McConnell’s approach before the last shutdown, when he consistently said that it would be pointless to hold a vote on something the president doesn’t support.
McConnell shrugged when asked what he’d do in the event of a presidential veto, and, on the question of whether the president would’ve been better off accepting the $1.6 billion border security package the Senate negotiated before the shutdown, he demurred, saying “I think the president did pretty well.”
At his rally Monday night, the president again argued for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border by railing against illegal immigration and falsely linking undocumented immigrants to disproportionate crime.
He also accused Democrats of endorsing “open borders” and criticized the “far-left” for efforts to defund or abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The president meets with administration officials after a, after hours of deliberations, announced that they had reached “an agreement in principle” on legislation to fund the government past the Friday deadline and avert another government shutdown.
It’s unclear if Mr. Trump will sign onto the deal, which includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers and a reduction in overall ICE detention beds from the current 49,057 level to 40,520, according to a congressional aide. Two senior administration officials said the White House was waiting for the details of the agreement.
Camilo Montoya-Galvez contributed to this report.