Published: Thu, March 29, 2018
Culture | By Margie Dunn

Trump floats idea of using military funds for US-Mexico border wall

Trump floats idea of using military funds for US-Mexico border wall

President Donald Trump is asking the Department of Defense to fund the barrier he has long promised supporters along the US southern border, according to multiple reports published Tuesday.

Trump ended an early Sunday morning tweet detailing the wealth of the military and the necessity of the border wall with "Build WALL through M!"

Trump also made the suggestion that the Department of Defense fund his border barrier to several advisers last week, according to the newspaper.

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.

The report said two advisers confirmed the "M" was a reference to the military and that three people familiar with the Trump-Ryan meeting noted little reaction from Ryan to Trump's proposal to have the military fund construction of the wall.

"Last year, I introduced an amendment that would have prevented Trump from irresponsibly siphoning our defense funds to pay for a useless wall that will do nothing to keep our nation safe". During another meeting, this one with senior aides, Trump apparently whined about how much money the Department of Defense was getting, noting that surely the Pentagon could afford to part with a few (or, say, 67) billion dollars. Trump tweeted on Sunday, apparently referring to the USA military, not Mexico. The most recent budget deal in Congress still has no wall funding, and specifically states that any border construction must be see-through fencing.

Senior officials in Congress told The Post such a move was unlikely, and a senior official at the Pentagon said redirecting money from the 2018 budget would have to be done by lawmakers.

Will there be a US-Mexico border wall?

Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made Democrats' opposition abundantly clear: "First Mexico was supposed to pay for it, then US taxpayers, and now our men and women in uniform?"

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters: "I can't get into the specifics of that at this point, but I can tell you that the continuation of building the wall is ongoing, and we're going to continue moving forward in that process". "Secretary [James] Mattis ought not bother and instead use the money to help our troops, rather than advance the president's political fantasies", he said. Trump discussed the idea with House Speaker Paul Ryan, while reviewing the omnibus spending bill, which doesn't include funding for building the wall.

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