Trump Insists Plan for Border Wall Has ‘Never Changed’

U.S. President Donald Trump says his plan for a controversial wall along the Mexican border has “never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it,” after his chief of staff John Kelly suggested that Trump wasn’t “fully informed” when he promised to build it.

Trump, on Twitter Thursday, said, “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 U.S. leader offered his comments on building the wall, perhaps his most popular campaign promise during his successful 2016 campaign run to the White House, as the White House and Congress face a Friday midnight deadline to extend funding for government agencies.

Money for the wall and protection against deportation of 800,000 young immigrants who years ago were illegally brought into the United States by their parents are part of the contentious Washington debate over new spending legislation to avert a partial shutdown of government operations.

Trump tweeted, “A government shutdown will be devastating to our military…something the Dems care very little about!”

He contended that the wall “will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico,” which has in the past said it would not pay for any border wall.

Trump linked the wall to Mexico’s $71 billion trade surplus with the U.S., although trade is between businesses, not directly governments. He said the $20 billion wall is “peanuts” compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. under the North American Free Trade Agreement that also includes Canada. ‘NAFTA is a bad joke!” he said.

Trump said, “We need the Wall for the safety and security of our country. We need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico, now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world. If there is no Wall, there is no Deal!” over immigration policies.

On Wednesday, White House chief of staff Kelly told lawmakers that Trump’s campaign promises on immigration were not fully informed and his thinking on building a wall along the entire border with Mexico wall had “evolved.”

“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 told Fox News when asked about the meeting with lawmakers.

On paying for the wall, Kelly said, “In one way or another, it’s possible that we could get the revenue from Mexico, but not directly from their government.”

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