Beto O'Rourke holds march to counter President Trump's El Paso rally
- Author: Rogelio Becker Feb 13, 2019,
Feb 13, 2019, 0:30
Many consider the rally by the failed Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate to be a trial balloon for a possible presidential campaign in 2020.
"That may be the end of his presidential bid", Trump quipped, adding: "You're supposed to win in order to run". "They say that progress is being made".
"I'm not happy about it". During his Cabinet meeting, the president cast a shadow over the agreement in principle the conference committee reached on border funding Monday night. They said the White House's insistence on excluding people charged or convicted of crimes, even nonviolent drug offenses, would give the White House nearly limitless power to detain people and make existing rules irrelevant.
But he did not reveal whether he would join the growing number of Democrats running for president.
"I've always accepted it".
"I wouldn't mind having one", the notoriously pet-averse Trump said.
What is known about the deal?
Three people familiar with Congress' tentative border security deal have told The Associated Press that the accord would provide $1.375 billion to build 55 miles (90 kilometers) of new border barriers - well below the $5.7 billion that Trump demanded to build over 200 miles (320 kilometers) of wall along the Mexican boundary.
The barrier would be built in the Rio Grande Valley, in Texas, using existing designs, such as metal slats, instead of the concrete wall that Mr Trump had demanded. Lawmakers agreed in late January to reopen the government and negotiate on border security issues, including the wall, before funding lapsed again on February 15. Such talk is not new with Trump, who famously got his term started by exaggerating the size of his inauguration crowd in comparison to his predecessor Barack Obama.
With four days to cut a deal before a partial government shutdown, Trump took Air Force One to the border in an attempt to gain a political advantage in an immigration debate that polls show he has been losing. Republicans wanted flexibility in detention rules, arguing that they needed to be able to adjust to account for violent criminals and others. Democrats were concerned that federal workers, a key constituency, would face further financial strain.
Trump went on to urge his supporters and members of both parties in Congress to "come together" and support increased border security. They finally did - and the contours of the agreement look a lot like what was on the table last December, before the president, at the behest of his conservative base, instigated the current crisis. And Bloomberg News reported that O'Rourke's rally had been estimated at 10,000 to 15,000, according to local police.
Trump, meanwhile, at his rally painted a much darker image about the possible influx of new immigrants across the border, who he has characterized as bringing drugs and crime.
Trump advisers have long insisted that, fulfilled or not, the wall is a winning issue for the president, who has already sought to rewrite the "Build the Wall" chants that were a staple of his 2016 campaign to "Finish the Wall".
Both sides will lick their wounds and prepare for the next fight. "Walls end lives", he said.
Democrats have steadfastly refused to approve the funding. Asked by reporters whether the government would shut down again Saturday, he responded, "That's up to the Democrats".