Donald Trump Seems To Abandon Idea That Mexico Will Pay For Border Wall, Presses Military For Funding Instead

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Donald Trump has apparently abandoned the idea that Mexico would pay for the border wall, with a recent tweet from the president floating the idea that it would be funded through the U.S. military and reports that he is privately pressing the military to pay for it.

The border wall was one of the chief promises from Donald Trump while he was on the 2016 campaign trail, with Trump saying he planned to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and that he would make Mexico pay for it. But a recent tweet from Trump appearing to suggest it could be built through military funding and a Washington Post report that Trump is already pressing the military to build the wall suggests that idea has since died.

As the Washington Post reported, Trump has suggested to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and leaders in Congress that the construction of the border wall would address a “national security” risk and that the Pentagon should pay for it. The report said that House Speaker Paul Ryan had little reaction to the proposal and others in Congress cast doubt on the idea of the military paying for it, the Washington Post added.

But the report added that Trump remains determined to build the border wall and fulfill his campaign promise, leading to disappointment that he could not receive funding in a spending bill he signed on Friday after briefly threatening to veto it.

Donald Trump appeared to publicly share his idea to have the U.S. military pay for the border wall, tweeting that America should “Build WALL through M!” Advisers told the Washington Post that “M” meant military.

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As CNN noted, Trump had already backed away from the idea that Mexico would pay for the border wall, saying instead that the U.S. would initially pay for it and then seek to recoup some of the money through placing tariffs on Mexico or some other form of repayment. Experts say those ideas would ultimately raise prices for U.S. consumers, however, and would not result in the excess funding that would pay for the wall.

“The idea is Trump’s latest attempt to find a way to build the border wall he promised supporters during his campaign as Mexico has dismissed his call for Mexico to fund its construction. Trump has said he would seek that payment in the form of a refund, either through trade negotiations, remittance payments or other means.”

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Officials from the White House and Department of Defense told the Washington Post it was unlikely that the military would end up paying for Donald Trump’s border wall.