After vowing that Mexico would pay for his wall, Trump has taken money earmarked for the U.S. military to spend on it instead.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Thursday that having Mexico pay for the wall on the U.S. southern border "didn't come up" in any discussions she "was a part of" while Donald Trump met with the president of Mexico.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador visited the White House on Wednesday.
Trump ran for president in 2016 on the promise of building a border wall, repeatedly insisting that "Mexico will pay for it."
Soon after Trump took office, the Mexican government flatly rejected the proposal, and since then Trump has moved forward with the project at U.S. taxpayer expense, primarily by using funds that were supposed to go to the military.
The vast majority of wall construction under Trump has been refurbishing existing barriers, not building a new wall.
So far, Mexico has not been tapped to pay for any of it.
From a July 8 White House briefing:
REPORTER: Can you tell us if President Trump discussed the issue of funding for the wall with the president, and if not, is that now a dead issue for the president?
KAYLEIGH McENANY: Um, it didn't come up in the discussions that I was a part of, but I'm grateful that you bring up the wall, which is being built at accelerated pace, you know, more than 500 miles by the end of the year, and we really appreciate the help of the Mexican government in securing the border with the troops that they've provided.
REPORTER: Does the president contend that the Mexican government will still contribute, like, directly to fund –
McENANY: Again, I'm not aware of their other discussions they may have had, but what I would note is the USMCA [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement], that Mexico is a big part in making happen, is bringing tons and tons and tons of money and revenue into the United States, and we're very grateful for that.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.