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Trump says Paul Ryan reneged on deal to fund border wall

Trump: DOJ to make Mueller report decisi

President Trump said in an interview published Wednesday night that former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., reneged on a deal to fund the border wall while Republicans controlled both houses of Congress. In an interview with the conservative website The Daily Caller, Mr. Trump said Ryan promised to fund the wall if the president signed the 2018 spending bill. 

"Well, I was going to veto the omnibus bill and Paul told me in the strongest of language, 'Please don't do that. We'll get you the wall.' And I said, 'I hope you mean that, because I don't like this bill,"' Mr. Trump said. "Paul told me in the strongest of terms that, 'Please sign this and if you sign this we will get you that wall.' Which is desperately needed by our country. Humanitarian crisis, trafficking, drugs, you know, everything — people, criminals, gangs, so, you know, we need the wall."

The president signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill in March to avoid a government shutdown. Hours later, he voiced regrets.

"I will never sign another bill like this again," Mr. Trump said at the time. "I'm not going to do it again. Nobody read it. It's only hours old." 

Mr. Trump's comments to the Daily Caller came just days after he inked a bill to reopen the government after a record 35-day shutdown. The bill also didn't include funding for his border wall. 

While Ryan was still the speaker in December, the House passed a bill that included $5 billion for the wall but the Senate had already passed a measure without that money. The House bill was considered dead on arrival in the Senate since it would need 60 votes to pass. Mr. Trump said he would not approve a budget without funding for the wall, leading to the government to shut down. 

Ryan left office at the end of 2018, and Democrat Nancy Pelosi took over as House speaker. Pelosi refused to negotiate with Mr. Trump, and the shutdown stretched on until Jan. 25, when the president agreed to sign a compromise bill to reopen the government that did not include border wall funding. 

Mr. Trump told The Daily Caller Ryan "went lame duck," then it was "just really an exercise in waving to people and the power was gone, so I was very disappointed."

"I was very disappointed in Paul because the wall was so desperately needed. And I'll get the wall," Mr. Trump said. 

Mr. Trump's State of the Union speech was delayed until Feb. 5 due to the shutdown. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., said she will invite an undocumented worker who was fired as a cleaner at a Trump golf club after giving an interview to The New York Times.

Mr. Trump told The Daily Caller some of the guests he will be inviting "will be border-related, some of them will be people who have suffered very badly because we didn't do what we should've done in a very dangerous part of our country." 

According to the website, Mr. Trump then directed senior staff to set up a meeting to discuss the issue. 

Mr. Trump also told The Daily Caller he will "think about" asking the FBI to review its policies after the early morning arrest of his former campaign adviser and longtime ally Roger Stone.

When asked how the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller is being handled compared to the probe of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, Mr. Trump said, "You look at that by comparison to the Russian hoax, it's a shame."

Mr. Trump also told The Daily Caller he will let the Justice Department decide how to handle Mueller's report. Mueller's Russia investigation is overseen by the Justice Department. 

"They'll have to make their decision within the Justice Department. They will make the decision as to what they do," Mr. Trump said.

In addition, the president said he has "never" spoken to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker about ending the Mueller probe. 

Whitaker said earlier this week the investigation is "close to being completed."