WASHINGTON — The White House wants to avoid a partial government shutdown and has found other ways to get the border wall President Donald Trump is demanding, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Tuesday.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders (Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford)

Sanders’ comments come four days before large portions of the federal government will begin shutting down unless Congress and Trump reach a funding deal.

Trump has been demanding $5 billion from Congress for his border wall, which Democrats refuse to give.

But Sanders told Fox News Channel: “We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion.”

“At the end of the day we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border,” Sanders said.

Sanders said the White House was exploring other funding sources and believed it could be legally done.

“There are certainly a number of different funding sources that we’ve identified that we can use, that we can couple with money that would be given through congressional appropriations that would help us get to that $5 billion that the president needs in order to protect our border,” she said.

Sanders’ comments come after a series of miscalculations by Republicans in recent days over how to try and get Democrats to sign onto $5 billion to pay for the construction of a wall along the Mexico border.

Last week, Trump said he would be “proud” to shut down the government over the issue, a statement that congressional Republicans openly said muddied their messaging.

Then on Monday evening, Senate Republicans said they were anticipating a formal proposal from the White House, perhaps at 5 p.m., that never materialized. But the White House never promised a 5 p.m. proposal, and then Senate Republicans signaled they planned to move ahead on an overhaul of the criminal justice system this week, giving them very little time to negotiate a budget bill.

Meanwhile, the stock market has fallen precipitously in recent weeks, creating economic angst over Trump’s agenda. Trump has attacked the Federal Reserve, among others, for the stock market’s tumble, but it has rattled him, according to people who have spoken with him both inside and outside the White House.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose the internal White House sentiment.

“We’ll continue to have these conversations with both Senate and House Republicans and Democrats. Our team has been in constant communication,” Sanders said. “We’re going to continue to do that. I’m not going to negotiate here, but we’ve been talking to them just as recently as this morning.”


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