Attorney General Jeff Sessions insisted President Donald Trump is "not backing down from" his campaign promises to build a border wall and revamp immigration policies amid reports of ideological wars in the White House, during an interview Wednesday on "The Laura Ingraham Show."
The attorney general addressed Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly's doubts last week, expressed during a Senate Homeland Security committee hearing, in which he said "it is unlikely that we will build a wall, a physical barrier, from sea to shining sea."
"And he's supported me and Homeland Security in stepping up in enforcement at the border 100 percent. And we're carrying out his agenda."
"The president shares the view. He's still insisting we're going to build this wall, and he's not backing down from it," Sessions said. "And he's supported me and Homeland Security in stepping up in enforcement at the border 100 percent. And we're carrying out his agenda."
Sessions also downplayed reports of civil war in the White House between populist-conservative chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
Sessions says he believes everyone at the White House is committed to immigration enforcement and border security.
"I think that's shared throughout the White House. And I don't believe anybody is going to object to that," Sessions continued.
"I'm an admirer of Steve Bannon, and the Trump family, and they've been supportive of what we're doing," Sessions said. "I believe that we've got a president who spoke clearly telling the world that our border is not open, don't come."
The attorney general said the simple shift in priorities and tone from the new administration has improved conditions on the nation's southern border. Sessions said he witnessed this first hand when he visited the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona Tuesday.
"The border patrol officers that I met with -- and who, by the way, were so frustrated with the Obama administration that for the first time in history they endorsed President Trump in the primary, and I believe in the general election and stood with him. They are fired up," Sessions said. "They believe things are happening to a positive degree. And they were very supportive of me."
Ingraham asked if Trump's populist-conservative agenda may be slipping away inside the White House, Sessions insisted that Trump has not changed the core tenets of his "America first" campaign platform.
"I think that the president talked clearly about this for many, many years. He has been a critic of these trade deals that he believes disadvantaged working people in the United States. And I've come to share that view," Sessions said.
Sessions pointed to one of Trump's early moves -- removing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
"Trump's election killed it," Sessions said. "He promised to kill it and he's killed it. So, that was nip and tuck."
When Ingraham brought up concerns that Tump's first visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago last week represented a softening of his tough campaign stance on trade with China, Sessions said give and take is all part of the deal.
"The relationship between the United States and China is so important for our future, their future and the world's future. So no, we should be meeting and discussing things," Sessions said. "But I do believe the president understands and has the will which we've lacked for many years in actually negotiating things with the Chinese that strengthen our position."
"I do believe that there's been problems in which we have not adequately defended the American manufacturing base and our American workers," Sessions added. "So, there's no doubt that we've got to better about that. But we can't, you know, just sever our relations."
As for Trump's travel ban executive order that has been struck down by district court judges, Sessions signaled that the Justice Department's fight wasn't nearly over yet.
"We believe that order is absolutely justified. It's legal, it's defensible, and we're going to defend it with every bit of strength we have and the best lawyers we can put into it. And we intend to win this and I believe we will," Sessions said.
"It's frustrating beyond imagination to have a single sitting district judge somewhere that issues an order that stops the entire policy of the United States government," Sessions added, noting that some judges erroneously "think they have a policy role."
"And so, I think the president was clearly correct in doing this," Sessions said.