Donald Trump tweets: Mexico border 'Wall is the Wall'

Kristen Gonzales
January 19, 2018

Donald Trump insisted Thursday that his conception of a border wall between the us and Canada has "never changed or evolved" and that it will ultimately be funded by Mexico in some way, in what appeared to be a response to his chief of staff's hedging a day earlier.

On Wednesday, US media reported that Mr Kelly had privately told a group of Democrats from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that President Trump had not been fully informed when he first came up with his wall plans.

Guajardo wrote that "Mexico will never pay for that wall" while Smith asserted that " a border wall is not, and will never be, part of the NAFTA negotiations". Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Elsa Roybal-AllardKelly told Dems some of Trump's immigration promises were "uninformed": report Dem offers bill to reauthorize underage drinking prevention programs Top Dem: Congress will face backlash for DHS shutdown MORE (D-Calif.), to explain Trump's proposed wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

"Mexico will pay - in some form, Mexico will pay for the wall", the president said at Camp David Jan. 6. Since taking office, he has acknowledged there were geographical barriers such as mountains and rivers along the border where a wall would not be necessary.

"[Trump] has evolved in the way he's looked at things".

Also, the chief of staff said the government was focussing on the situation of Dreamers - undocumented immigrants brought to the USA as children - whose protection from deportation lapses in March, unless Congress can reinstate it through a legislation that is the subject of intense debate and negotiations.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, the president said "the wall's never meant to be 2,100 miles long. you don't need a wall where you have a natural barrier that's far greater than any wall you could build". Trump also now wants Congress to provide taxpayer money to finance it.

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"There's been an evolutionary process that this president has gone through. and I pointed out to all the members that were in the room that they all say things during the course of campaigns that may or may not be fully informed", Kelly said. "There [are] other places we think about 800 miles [of] additional wall to include the 600 that's already in place...would suffice".

Kelly later said that "there's no doubt in my mind" that there will be a DACA deal, "so long as men and women on both sides are willing to talk". According to the newspaper, Kelly said Trump had pledged his "big, attractive wall" before becoming "fully informed" of the natural barriers that already lie along the U.S. border with Mexico.

That changed in September when Trump announced he'd end, effective March 5, Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which let hundreds of thousands avoid deportation and legally work.

Sticking points such as immigration remain, and President Trump has made it clear a shutdown would hurt the US military.

He also denied that the White House asked ex-communicated former adviser Steve Bannon to invoke executive privilege during his testimony to Congress this week on the Russian Federation investigation. It will be hard for Republicans to get the bill passed with only GOP votes.

Democrats' votes are needed to advance the stopgap measure through the Senate. The bill would keep agencies open until mid-February and finance a popular children's health insurance program for a year. But he said he was pessimistic leaders would grant other conservative-backed ideas, such as the promise of a vote on a more conservative immigration bill authored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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