Trump: The Wall Has ‘Never Changed,’ Mexico Will Still Pay for It ‘Directly or Indirectly’

President Donald Trump / Getty Images


President Donald Trump wrote Thursday the southern border wall that he has long promised has "never changed or evolved," saying it will be paid for by Mexico and cautioning that portions of it were never intended to be built in areas with natural barriers like mountains or rivers.

Trump's tweets appeared to be a response to Chief of Staff John Kelly's remarks Wednesday about his boss' changing views on the border. Kelly reportedly told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that Trump's immigration policies on the campaign trail were "uninformed" and a truly border-length wall was unrealistic.

Asked about the reported remarks in an interview on Fox News, Kelly said people say things during campaigns that aren't "fully informed" and that Trump had "evolved" in his stances on a number of issues.

"The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it," Trump wrote. "Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water."

Trump frequently promised during the campaign that he would build a wall and "Mexico will pay for it." Kelly said while the Mexican government would not directly pay for it, there were other ways to generate the revenue for it.

Trump added in a follow-up tweet, "The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S. The $20 billion dollar Wall is "peanuts" compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!"

The wall and the larger issue of border security are sticking points in immigration negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.

Some Democrats have announced they won't support any spending bill this week that doesn't enshrine protections for the "Dreamers," the term for the immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who were shielded from deportation by President Barack Obama's 2012 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) executive order.

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