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‘It’s the dance’: Trump milks suspense from shutdown deal

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Even as it has become clear that Congress would not yield to him, President Donald Trump has continued to make grandiose claims about erecting the wall that was his signature campaign promise in 2016. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

government shutdown

Trump's Republican allies say he is drawing out his surrender in a spending fight with Congressional Democrats over border wall funding that he clearly will not win.


02/12/2019 08:49 PM EST

President Donald Trump will likely approve a congressional spending deal struck Tuesday, but first he is engaging in what allies called foot-dragging theatrics aimed at his disgruntled conservative supporters.

Even as Trump said he was “not happy” and “adding things” to the agreement in Congress, several people close to the White House said they believe he is simply delaying his inevitable support for a deal that some leading conservatives are calling unacceptable.

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“It’s the dance to get to yes,” said a person familiar with Trump’s thinking. “This is Trump being Trump.”

Trump gave confusing comments to reporters Tuesday about the congressional deal to avert another partial government shutdown caused by Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to fund a southern border wall. The agreement includes just $1.4 billion for border security, less than a quarter of what Trump has demanded.

His remarks — which neither endorsed nor fully rejected the spending deal — may have reflected the lack of good options Trump enjoys to resolve a border wall fight that has consumed the past two months of his presidency.

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His ambivalence may have been fueled by the scathing reactions of key conservatives, who panned the agreement even before its details were released. Fox News host Sean........

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