Donald Trump promised repeatedly on the 2016 campaign trail that he would build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it, but a new report claims that Trump has found a very different source to pay for the wall — a retirement fund for military service members.
Trump recently won a Supreme Court battle in his bid to declare a state of emergency at the U.S. border, allowing him to re-appropriate funding from the Department of Defense. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the Pentagon has now revealed which programs would be losing funding so Trump can build the border wall. That included close to $224 million diverted from the U.S. military’s Blended Retirement System, which combines the military’s retirement program with a system offering benefits similar to what civilians receive in a 401(k).
As Business Insider reported, the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling came with some controversy. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging Trump’s attempt to declare a state of emergency after failing to gain approval from congress.
The ACLU said it plans to continue to oppose Trump’s border wall plans.
“The Supreme Court didn’t give Trump’s abuse of emergency powers the stamp of approval, or say anything about whether the wall construction was lawful. Nor did the Supreme Court say that our clients lack standing,” said ACLU lawyer Dror Ladin. “As our lawsuit proceeds, we will continue to make the case that our clients, who will be harmed because of Trump’s xenophobic wall, deserve their day in court to prevent and undo that harm.”
It’s a sad day when the president is cheering a decision that may allow him to steal funds from our military to pay for an ineffective and expensive wall for which he promised Mexico would foot the bill.https://t.co/CDLtwndLR3
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 27, 2019
Donald Trump has come under fire from critics for going back on promises made during the 2016 campaign that he would make Mexico pay for a wall along the southern border. Trump later walked back that promise, pushing for Democrats in Congress to authorize funding needed to start building the wall and sending the federal government into a shutdown when they held firm against his demands.
During the weeks-long stalemate, Trump denied that he promised Mexico would make a direct payment for the wall, but the New York Times chronicled the multiple times that Trump said just that; he would use his negotiating prowess to force Mexico to cut a check for the cost of the wall.
As The Inquisitr had previously reported, Donald Trump also promised during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would build a wall 1,000 miles long along the border. Since Trump took office in January 2017, there has not been any new wall built.