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White House asks federal agencies to contribute to border wall funding

Sarah Sanders wears a quote while being interview outside the White House
Sarah Sanders. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump has asked every federal agency to contribute to the $5 billion in border wall funding he has demanded from Congress to avoid shutting the government down, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Tuesday.

The big picture: Last week, Trump said he'd be "proud" to shut down the government over funding for the border wall. But Sanders said the administration is now hoping they can prevent a shutdown by securing funding from elsewhere. Lawmakers have until Friday to pass a funding bill that will keep the government open.

  • Sanders added that Trump is "disappointed" in Congress for failing to come up with a spending deal to keep the government open. Last week, both House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with Trump at the White House to hash out a deal. It went nowhere.

Other highlights:

  • Addressing Michael Flynn's sentencing hearing, Sanders doubled down on her claim from earlier in the day that Flynn was "ambushed" by FBI investigators — despite Flynn reaffirming in court that he knew it was illegal to lie to the FBI. She also claimed that actions Flynn engaged in don't "have anything to do with the president directly," and that she was unaware of any actions he took that would indicate treason.
  • Sanders said Trump would "take a look" at extraditing Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania who the Turkish government has accused of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016. Flynn has admitted to failing to register as a foreign agent of Turkey while lobbying to have Gulen extradited, work for which two of his business associates have been indicted.
  • Sanders also announced Trump would attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next month.

Go deeper: White House looking at “other ways” to get $5 billion for border wall