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Trump makes a video call to service members from the Oval Office Tuesday morning. Photo: Zach Gibson-Pool/Getty Images

In a short question and answer session with reporters this morning, President Trump said "I can’t tell you when the government is going to reopen," and that the partial government shutdown won't end until "we have a wall, a fence, whatever they’d like to call it."

Between the lines: His comments, per the White House pool report, didn't suggest any real progress in ending the standoff with Democratic leaders. But he may have signaled some flexibility on what would satisfy his promises on the border wall. And when asked whether the $5 billion he wants is nonnegotiable: "It’s complicated … We want the wall money to be increased."

Here's what he said about the border wall: "It’s my hope to have this done, completed — all 500 to 550 miles — to have it either renovated or brand new by election time."

Why it matters, per the Dallas Morning News: Trump "moved the goalpost on Tuesday by suggesting that he would be satisfied with funding to renovate existing barrier — not just add barrier to parts of the border that aren't already fenced."

  • And before today, "Trump had never publicly stated many miles of barrier he wants."

Other remarks, per the pool report:

  • His full comment on the funding: "It’s complicated. We’re getting $25 billion now. It’s already approved. But that’s for everything. That’s for homeland security. That includes as we say the bells and whistles…We want the wall money to be increased."
  • On the Federal Reserve: "They are raising interest rates too fast, that’s my opinion."
  • On whether he has confidence in Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin: "Yes I do. Very talented guy, very smart person."

Quote of the day:

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Report: Pentagon watchdog finds Ronny Jackson drank on duty and harassed staff

Rep. Ronny Jackson walking through the Canon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol in January. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) allegedly made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female staffer, drank alcohol and took sleeping medication while working as White House physician, according to an official report obtained by CNN Tuesday night.

Driving the news: The Department of Defense inspector general's report stems from a years-long investigation. Jackson has called the allegations "false and fabricated."

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.