Trump has spoken for weeks about using his presidential authority to declare a border emergency and bypass Congress, allowing himself to take funds from other sources for the wall.
Freshman Rep. Michael Waltz said Sunday on Fox & Friends that he sees a "massive lack of trust" in Democrats to negotiate in good faith on border security. The Trump administration is on the defensive this week after some conservative commentators - like Ann Coulter - said the president has capitulated again to Democrats.
"We don't think we caved", said another senior White House official. Some of them may be later this week, but we hope that by the end of this week all of the back pay will be we'll be made up, ' he said on CBS News. "So I think the president saw a chance here to try to take the Democrats at their word".
The Smithsonian Institution said museums in Washington and the National Zoo will reopen on Tuesday. It was that image that he and the White House seemed to be trying to avoid Saturday, insisting instead that the wall would still be built and that the president deserved praise for reopening the same government he had brazenly closed more than a month earlier.
Those doubts were stoked by Trump's threat on Friday to shut the government down again "if we don't get a fair deal from Congress" before temporary funding runs out on 15 February.
Internal Revenue Service employees, border security workers, corrections officers and others required to work during the shutdown without pay were told on Sunday they would be compensated in short order, as would employees barred from their jobs during the shutdown.
He noted the White House would prefer to 'get it through legislation.
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Trump's consideration of such action comes as conservative commentators have lashed out at Trump and said he gave in to top Democrats on Friday, and as special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election has moved deeper into Trump's inner circle, raising questions about the future of his presidency.
Trump's chief congressional antagonists, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, have staunchly refused his demand for wall construction money.
A bipartisan, bicameral congressional committee has been charged with brokering an agreement on border security as part of a deal to keep the government open past February 15, and a stalemate could trigger another shutdown.
"He's willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border", Mulvaney said.
Even though Democrats are off their planned message, they're benefiting in at least one way from the shutdown: voters are blaming Trump.
Mulvaney said Trump agreed to temporarily end the shutdown because some Democrats have stepped forward, publicly and privately, to say they agree with Trump's plan to better secure the border.
Mulvaney traveled to the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland over the weekend to work on immigration and border issues, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. "No more holding federal workers hostage". Asked if she thought Trump and his people realized her power over something as traditional as the SOTU, she said, rather dismissively, "I don't spend a lot of time sussing out what they know".