House GOP leader says border deal doesn’t need word ‘wall’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top House Republican says a border security compromise that congressional bargainers hope to produce doesn’t have to include the word “wall.”

The comment by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California represents a retreat from President Donald Trump’s rhetoric during his campaign, when he made building a wall along the border with Mexico a central promise. It suggests that GOP negotiators are willing to be flexible in bipartisan talks scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

In recent weeks Trump has veered between using the terms “wall” and “barrier.” Congressional Democrats have been opposed to financing a wall but shown openness to spending money on some physical structures.

McCarthy tells reporters that to him and Trump, wall and barrier mean the same thing.

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