Last night the president backed off his demand that any deal to fund the federal government include money to start construction on his border wall. At an event with conservative journalists, Trump said he's okay waiting until September to have this fight.


Even after he realizes the border wall is infeasible, he is unlikely to ever acknowledge it publicly because it was such a central rationale of his candidacy. "I will build a great wall," Trump promised in his June 2015 announcement speech. "And nobody builds walls better than me, believe me. ... And I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words." (The Huffington Post created a timeline tracking his promises on the wall over the past two years.)

-- The president's aides have convinced him that he can present a little bit of money for border security, especially technology and more agents, as a victory. And he will avert a government shutdown that would have raised questions about his competence and basic leadership ability, especially with the GOP in total control of Washington. Trump has already begun taking credit for a drop in illegal border crossings and a reduction in crime along the border. He says his tough enforcement policies are deterring many from trying to enter the country.

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