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President Trump's incoming acting chief of staff says Mexico won't "exactly" pay for the wall, clarified that Trump "now" knows he can't fire the Fed chair and predicted the partial government shutdown will last into 2019.

The big picture: Mick Mulvaney is attempting to clarify the Trump administration's messaging from the White House's hectic statements that led up to what is now partial government shutdown.

Five highlights:

1) The wall: Mulvaney admits on ABC's "This Week" that Mexico won't pay for the wall, a promise Trump made on the campaign trail. "Technically, you and I both know that [the process for paying for the wall] cannot work exactly like that. I can't spend any money at the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Homeland Security can't spend money from Mexico. We have to get it from the Treasury."

2) The Fed: Mulvaney spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last night and Trump "now realizes" that he "does not have the ability" to fire Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.

3) The partial government shutdown will likely extend into 2019. Trump stands by funding $5 billion for the wall and “refuses to go along to get along," Mulvaney said on "Fox News Sunday."

4) On the resignation of Jim Mattis: "The president had known for quite some time now that Sec. Mattis and he did not share some of the same philosophies," Mulvaney said.

5) Past comments: Mulvaney said he and the president have joked about his comments from 2016, when he called Trump a "terrible human being." "The president knows that I've been fighting with him to fight for ordinary Americans. He likes having me around. I like working for him," Mulvaney said.

Flashback:

  • Mulvaney in 2015: “To say ‘build the darn fence’ and have that be the end of an immigration discussion is absurd and almost childish for someone inning for president to take that simplistic a view."
  • Mulvaney in 2016: “Yes, I’m supporting Donald Trump. I am doing so as enthusiastically as I can given the fact that I think he is a terrible human being. But the choice on the other side is just as bad.”

Go deeper: Pre-Christmas Trump: Rebuked, rampaging

Go deeper

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
29 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Mounting emissions data paints bleak picture on Paris climate goals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Researchers keep finding new ways to reveal that nations are together showing very few signs of getting on track to meet the Paris Agreement's goals.

One big question: That's whether a spate of recent analyses to that effect, and scientific reports coming later this year, will move the needle on meaningful new policies (not just targets).

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

How the tech stock selloff is hurting average Americans

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors holding the ultra-popular Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 index funds have been hard hit over the last two weeks as tech shares have been roiled by rising U.S. Treasury yields.

Why it matters: Even though the economy is growing and many U.S. stocks are performing well, most investors are seeing their wealth decline because major indexes no longer reflect the overall economy or even a broad swath of public companies — they reflect the performance of a few of the country's biggest companies.