"To be honest, it's not a wall", Kelly told the LA Times, upending an ongoing talking point from the White House that billions are needed to construct a massive, physical wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.
"For those that naively ask why didn't the Republicans get approval to build the Wall over the past year, it is because IN THE SENATE WE NEED 10 DEMOCRAT VOTES, and they will gives us "NONE" for Border Security!"
Kelly's comments are the latest development in the Trump administration's changing rhetoric on the president's long-promised wall along the southern USA border.
Trump is holding out for billions in federal funds for a border wall between the USA and Mexico, which Democrats have said they were intent on blocking.
The remarks were a sharp contrast to the rhetoric of the president who regularly appeals to his overwhelmingly white political base by taking a hard line on immigration. The border wall tantrum is Trump's last gasp and the Opposition is letting him vent it all out before payback time, come 3 January.
The US government partial shutdown was set to stretch deep into next week after legislators failed Thursday to make a breakthrough in the row over Trump's demand for a wall along the southern US border.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reacted cautiously to Trump's threat to close the border, calling it an "internal affair of the US government".
Mulvaney: $5B Border Wall Demand 'Came Down,' But Dems Walked Out
The shutdown is idling hundreds of thousands of federal workers and beginning to pinch citizens who count on some public services. Mulvaney added of the shutdown: "We do expect this to go on for a while". "We're going to behave like adults and do our job".
As far as the type of border security Trump is looking to get funded in a deal goes, Conway did not offer specifics but told Bash that "it's anything - it's all of the above". "I am not going to tell you what it is", Mulvaney said.
To end the government shutdown, Trump could agree to sign some version of a spending bill passed before the Christmas holiday by the Republicans in the Senate.
Trump has remained out of the public eye since returning to the White House early Thursday from a 29-hour visit to US troops in Iraq, instead taking to Twitter to attack Democrats.
Though Pelosi is in Hawaii, her office has continued to release press statements over the shutdown.
Democrats also plan to kick off the legislative calendar with H.R. 1, a sweeping package of reforms to voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance, and congressional and presidential ethics law - which is both badly needed and politically embarrassing for Trump and Senate Republicans to stamp out. She says of the negotiations: "It is with them".
Trump has latched particularly on to what have become known as the "caravans" - groups of several hundred or even more migrants who make epic treks across Central America and Mexico to try to reach the United States.
However, most of the people living in the US illegally do so by simply overstaying legally obtained visas, the Center for Migration studies reported previous year.
Conway sought to put the blame on Democrats, calling the president's demand a "modest investment" in border security.