Published date: December 18, 2018

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders signaled the Trump administration may back down on its forceful threats to shut down the U.S. government over a dispute with Democratic lawmakers over border wall funding, in a Tuesday morning interview on Fox News.

Sanders was pressed explicitly over whether the White House would accept anything less than the previously demanded $5 billion in funding. Democratic lawmakers previously had indicated they were willing to give the White House no more than $1.6 billion in funding. (RELATED: Shutdown Looms As Trump, Democrats Dig Into Border-Wall Funding)

“There are certainly a number of different funding sources that we’ve identified that we can use — that we can couple with money that would be given through congressional appropriations — that would help us get to that $5 billion that the president needs in order to protect our border,” Sander said, adding that the White House wants to keep the government open.

Trump appeared ready and willing to shut the government down in a fiery Oval Office meeting last week with House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump flatly declared to Schumer last week, “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck.”

Trump went on to say subsequently that he wouldn’t blame the Democrats for the shutdown and would take full ownership of it because he was so sure Americans agreed that more funding for the wall was needed.

Sanders’ statement is especially extraordinary seeing as just two days ago, the White House deployed senior advisor Stephen Miller on CBSNews’ “Face The Nation” to declare, “We’re going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall to stop this ongoing crisis of illegal immigration,” adding, “If it comes to it,” Trump will “absolutely” shut down the government.

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