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19 January 2018, 01:56 | Rex Hubbard
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Kelly told Fox News Wednesday that Trump's views on the project have "evolved".
Not least: General Kelly essentially confirmed the Washington Post's report that he had told Congressional Hispanic Caucus members that Trump's campaign rhetoric promising a wall on the Southern border had not been "fully informed", that there would be no "concrete wall from sea to shining sea", and that Mexico would not pay for the wall.
After serving as homeland security secretary and commander of US military forces in Latin America, Kelly told lawmakers that he has helped Trump "evolve on issues of the wall".
"The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never meant to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water".
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., asked Kelly to explain some of Trump's campaign promises to construct a border wall.
White House officials have repeatedly said it doesn't have to be a concrete wall from coast to coast but could include large stretches of fencing, technology or other systems.
Still, Kelly insisted that the president has been committed to building hundreds of miles of new wall on the border as part of a deal with Democrats on immigration.
Bipartisan Senate negotiators have come to terms on a deal to protect "dreamers", as young immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children are known.
Kelly has frequently said his top job is to control the flow of information to the president, but he has not tried to intervene with arguably the two most important ways by which Trump interacts with news: television and Twitter.
Kelly met on Wednesday with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, followed by four moderate Republicans, followed by two leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and then went to meet with the bipartisan congressional No. 2's who are attempting to negotiate a deal.
Kelly, according to the Post, also conceded to the group that there ultimately won't be a border wall 'that Mexico will pay for'. More recently, he has prevailed upon Trump not to dwell on the idea of Mexico paying for the wall, a notion that the president has not mentioned for some time.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said there's "very, very strong" sentiment among Democrats in the chamber to oppose GOP-drafted legislation to keep the government's doors open.
The border wall stands at the center of a congressional struggle to overhaul immigration before the March expiration of a program protecting so-called "Dreamers" - immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children. "In the course of the conversation, he said 'well, this is certainly something we can talk about but this is not what I had in mind, but it's a start point'".
"He has evolved in the way he's looked at things", Kelly said.
"Campaigning is very different from governing", Kelly added.
Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Thursday morning and was told there was a potential immigration deal, but Kelly wanted to make sure Trump heard from all the key players in the working immigration group before making a decision.
Trump on Sunday tweeted: "DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don't really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military". "As I understand it, they have the votes and they are fairly confident".
Many Democrats have said that without an immigration deal in sight, they'll vote against a Republican bill preventing a weekend government shutdown.
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