Trump backed himself into a corner last week by explicitly saying he would be "proud" to shut down the government if he didn't receive $5 billion in funding for his fantasy border wall, but it now appears that he's going to cave.
Multiple outlets reported last night that Trump was ready to give in but White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed as much this afternoon.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday said Trump did not want a government shutdown and that the administration had identified “other ways” to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Sanders’ comments Tuesday reflect a significant shift from when Trump last week told Democratic leaders he would be “proud” to shut down the government to get border wall funding.
“We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion,” Sanders said on Fox News. “At the end of the day we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border.”
At face value, it appears that Trump left Republicans with no other options by 'proudly' taking ownership of a shutdown, but incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi also called their bluff in another way.
Congressional Republicans hoped to blame Democrats for a partial government shutdown by passing a bill to fund Trump's wall through the House while they're still the majority and place all of the blame on Democrats if they filibuster it in the Senate.
Pelosi said House Republicans did not have enough votes to pass a wall funding bill through the House on their own without Democratic support (Trump claimed they did) and she was right. The Washington Post reported yesterday that House Republican leaders could not find enough votes to pass their own bill.
The White House is now floating a plan to pay for Trump's wall by redirected funds from other agencies, but that would be illegal and it feels like just another attempt to save face.