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Mounted Border Patrol agents stand by as President Trump inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego in March. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The border wall is one of President Trump's best known campaign promises, and it's the reason we're in a partial government shutdown — but the Associated Press has a good roundup of comments by White House officials and allies that suggest it might end up being less than a complete physical wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Between the lines: It's not surprising that Trump allies would float ideas to negotiate Trump's promise down to something he just calls a wall. But given how important Trump's promise is to his supporters, nothing will be resolved until Trump himself signs off on something less.

The key comments, per AP:

  • White House chief of staff John Kelly, to the Los Angeles Times: Trump gave up on “a solid concrete wall early on in the administration.”
  • White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, on Fox News Sunday: “There may be a wall in some places, there may be steel slats, there may be technological enhancements.”
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, to reporters after having lunch with Trump on Sunday: “The wall has become a metaphor for border security.” He said it could just be “a physical barrier along the border.”

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.

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