Senator John Kennedy from Louisiana suggested that Nancy Pelosi should try calling Trump’s border wall a “wangdoodle” if it makes her feel better about coming to a funding agreement. The Republican spoke to CNN on Thursday and suggested that if the Democrats’ hangup was the term “wall,” maybe they should consider calling it something else.
Brooke Baldwin asked Kennedy if he thought Pelosi was open to some sort of funding for the wall and if partial funding would be good enough for President Trump. In response, Kennedy said that she may be open to funding the barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, but that she may take issue with the word “wall.” If that’s the case, he has a suggestion for the Speaker.
“Speaker Pelosi is an extraordinarily bright person. She knows that the walls we have right now are working, she knows that you can’t secure a 1,900-mile border without using barriers. I think she probably doesn’t want to use the word ‘wall.’ That’s ok, she can call it a wangdoodle for all I care,” Kennedy said.
“We’re not talking about a wall from one end to the other. Walls are placed strategically, along with what the Speaker talked about, better technology at points of entry, more border control agents, more detention beds, drones,” he added. “It’s a combination of things, but it does include a wall and I know that’s hard the Speaker to say.”
— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBCNN) January 31, 2019
Kennedy’s comments come as lawmakers debate over the specifics for funding border control. Pelosi has said that she won’t approve of any deal that funds a wall, but that she would consider other “infrastructure,” including a fence in some areas.
Trump has made the wall a key part of his election bid and term in office. He shut down the government for 35 days after Democrats refused to provide the $5 billion he requested for the wall.
The president has repeatedly tried to change the optics around the debate, suggesting that the term should be shifted from “wall” to “fence.” He also attempted to sell the fencing by describing it as “artistically designed steel slats” and not the concrete barrier that he believes progressives are imagining.
A short while later, he changed the description to a “beautiful” steel slat barrier.
A design of our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective while at the same time beautiful! pic.twitter.com/sGltXh0cu9
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
The next day, he rebranded it to a “great” steel barrier. Ironically, on Thursday, the president called out those who are trying to call the wall by a different name in order to play political games.
Lets just call them WALLS from now on and stop playing political games! A WALL is a WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
The funding committee must reach an agreement over border funding by February 15, or Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency in order to obtain the funds he wants to build the wall.