Trump ‘Looking for Land Mines’ in Proposed Border Wall Deal
U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he has made no decision on whether to sign proposed bipartisan legislation for limited new barrier construction along the U.S.-Mexico border in order to avert another partial government shutdown Friday over the dispute.
We’ll be looking for land mines [in the bill]” but “we have not gotten it yet,” Trump said in response to reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with Colombian President Ivan Duque.
The president, however, indicated he was pleased with preliminary figures in the border security deal worked out by a committee of Republicans and Democrats, saying “total funding is almost up to $23 billion, it’s about 8 percent higher.”
Trump called Democrats stingy when it comes to funding for the wall.
We’re building a lot of wall right now with money that we already have,” added Trump, explaining that there are “a lot of options” to complete the border barrier’s construction.
We’re going to have a great wall, it’s going to be a great, powerful wall” with technology, including drones, explained the president.
I don’t want to see a shutdown. A shutdown would be a terrible thing,” Trump said.
The bipartisan agreement reached by lawmakers gives Trump less than a quarter of the $5.7 billion he has been demanding for wall construction, which was a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign.
Senator Lindsey Graham said he thinks the president will work with the expected legislation.
If you can use the money the way he envisions for barriers and there is no limit on bed space in reality, he’d be inclined to take the deal and move on,” Graham, who said he spoke to Trump on Tuesday night, told reporters.
Graham said if the deal moves forward, Trump likely would seek from other places the remainder of the money needed to build a wall along the U.S. southern border and was “very inclined” to declare a national emergency to get those funds.
In a speech later in the day to a conference of police chiefs and sheriffs, Trump promised that as he considers the new proposal from Congress, I will never waiver from my sacred duty to defend this nation and keep its people safe. We will get the job done.
The president told law enforcement officials that the new border barrier that is “on its way” is a “big wall, a strong wall”.
Trump also characterized politicians who have been critical of immigration and border patrol officers as those “on the extreme edge of the political spectrum.” He said those on the “radical left” are “going further and further left all the time. And that’s not good.”