Contradicting comments from White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, President Donald Trump declared Thursday that his position on the proposed wall along the southern border “has never changed or evolved.”
Trump also reiterated his frequently stated claim that Mexico will pay for the wall despite repeated denials by the Mexican government.
“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it,” Trump tweeted. “Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water.”
“The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S.” he added. “The $20 billion dollar Wall is ‘peanuts’ compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!”
Funding for the proposed border wall has been a major sticking point in recent negotiations over an immigration bill that includes protections for young illegal immigrants brought to the country as children.
The tweets from Trump come after Kelly said during a meeting with Democratic lawmakers that the president was “not fully informed” about the wall he was promising to voters during the campaign.
Kelly said a concrete barrier from sea to shining sea was no longer the conception of border security barriers supported by the White House, according to Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill.
A report from the Washington Post citing people familiar with the meeting said Kelly also told the lawmakers that Mexico will never pay for the wall.
However, Kelly later said in an interview with Fox News that it is possible the U.S. “could get the revenue from Mexico but not directly from their government.”
(Photo: Gage Skidmore)