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White House demands ‘large down payment on the wall’ as Senate tries to reach shutdown deal

The White House pushed for a “large down payment” on President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall Thursday as part of a potential deal to reopen the government for three weeks.

After the Senate rejected two proposals to end the partial shutdown, now in its 34th day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met to discuss a possible solution. Numerous senators from both parties pledged support for a continuing resolution to fund the government for three weeks, as real talks started to take shape for the first time since before the shutdown began.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Trump said he would support a deal the Senate strikes if it is a “reasonable agreement.” Earlier, after Trump spoke to his ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the White House backed the potential agreement — with conditions.

“Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Chuck Schumer are meeting now to see whether or not they can work out of the deadlock. As was made clear to Senator Lindsay [sic] Graham, the 3 week CR would only work if there is a large down payment on the wall,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

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