When he was in the throes of his Presidential election campaign back in 2016, “Celebrity Apprentice” host Donald Trump promised the hardcore, immigrant-bashing conservatives who supported him every step of the way that as soon as he was in the Oval Office, he would begin the construction of a “great, great wall” along the southern border between the United States and Mexico. Now, he’s been in the White House for a year and there hasn’t been a single brick laid.

Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, has suggested that the government is mulling over the prospect of shutting down the wall construction plan altogether, expressing doubts that the US President thought the whole thing through and had a specific plan for how he was going to go about putting up this wall, which would be somewhere between the sizes of the Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China.

However, Trump himself has come out to publicly contradict his Chief of Staff, telling people that there have been no changes to the plans, he hasn’t changed his mind, and he did know what he was talking about when he promised to build a wall. Yeah, right.

Kelly’s way of saying that Trump’s mind had changed about the Mexico wall plans were that they had “evolved,” because during the campaign, he was not “fully informed” about how exactly to go about construction of the wall. The Chief of Staff made these comments in private, but they were later confirmed to have been made during an interview with Fox News. This all comes as officials in the Republican Party are struggling to keep the funding to the US government flowing nicely.

The immigration issue is dividing the US government

As is usually the case, the US government is split right down the middle on the immigration issue.

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The Democrats and the Republicans each want to do very different things with government funding. The Democrats want the funding to bring in “dreamer” immigrants (undocumented migrants who came to America as children with their adult immigrant parents) and help them to settle and have a good quality of life. But the Republicans, of course, want to use the money to keep immigrants out by putting up a stupid, asinine wall along the entire US/Mexico border.

The stakes are really high here. The US government might shut down if the Democrats and the Republicans can’t get along, which they never, ever can. By midnight tonight, they’ll have to have come to some sort of deal about what to do with the government funding. The Democrats will have to agree to build a wall along the Mexican border, which they never will, or failing that, the Republicans will have to agree to giving money to help immigrants to settle in their precious United States, which they’ll never do. And if they don’t reach an agreement, the government will shut down completely and all non-essential workers will have a few days off while their country takes a swift downwards turn towards the ground.

The Republican Party is starting to show cracks

In response to Kelly’s comments, Trump tweeted, “The Wall is the Wall,” and declared that the plans for its construction or what it would be have “never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.” This is just one sign of the growing divides in the President and his administration’s conservative party. There are some cracks beginning to show within the Republican Party, as internal disagreements over Trump’s attitudes and behavioural patterns are becoming clear.

Many Republican officials are unhappy that the President is not making his position on the major issues of immigration clear, which is something he kind of needs to do, especially amid these debates and the impending threat of a government shutdown. Trump needs to secure Democratic votes in order to get future spending approved, and some Republicans doubt that he’ll be able to do it if he doesn’t stick to his guns.