Trump softens stand on Mexico Wall but doesn't give up on it
US President Donald Trump has pushed back against suggestions he had changed his position on the wall along the border with Mexico, a central promise of his campaign for the White House.world Updated: Apr 25, 2017 22:45 IST
After appearing to have softened his stand on the wall along the border with Mexico to avoid a shutdown of the US federal government, President Donald Trump has pushed back against suggestions he had changed his position on a central promise of his campaign for the White House.
“Don't let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning, adding, “It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.”
At a meeting with conservative media personalities on Monday, Trump reportedly said he was willing to wait for the funding for the wall till later in the year, September, which was confirmed by the White House to some US media outlets.
In the ongoing negotiations to keep the federal government funded and open after Friday midnight, Trump has sought $1.5 billion to start work on the wall, which experts say could cost $21.6 billion and take more than three-and-a-half years to construct.
Trump has also sought more money for defence, another key poll promise, but the wall has turned out to be the deal-breaker in ongoing negotiations, with Democrats determined to oppose it; a leading member called it “immoral”.
While Republicans control both chambers of Congress and might look in a position to grant Trump his key wish, they need Democrats to pass the legislation — to offset Republicans who might vote against it, for instance, in the House.
Democrats are willing to include some money in the spending legislation to beef up security along the border to give Trump the satisfaction, symbolic mostly, of being seen to have delivered on a key promise in his first 100 days in office. But not for the wall.
They welcomed the flexility he seemed to display on Monday by giving up his demand for it to be done now. House Democrats’ leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, “The President’s comments this evening are welcome news given the bipartisan opposition to the wall, and the obstacle it has been to the continuing bipartisan negotiations in the appropriations committees.”
First Published: Apr 25, 2017 22:44 IST