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Trump eyes having the U.S. military pay for his border wall

President Trump has figured out who’s going to pay for his wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. Hint: It’s not Mexico.

Trump has privately pushed the U.S. military to fund construction of the border wall, the Washington Post and CNN reported Tuesday, citing sources who requested anonymity.

The president is said to have suggested his idea that the military should pitch in to fund the border wall to both Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and to House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Post reported.

The move comes after Trump failed to secure nearly enough funding from Congress in the recently signed omnibus spending bill. Trump is seeking $25 billion for construction of the wall, and Congress allocated just $1.6 billion for upgrades to the existing fencing.

At Tuesday’s briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders sidestepped a question about whether having the military wall construction posed constitutional issues, and gave a glass-half-full assessment of where the president’s signature campaign promise currently stands.

“I can’t go 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,” Sanders said.

Over the weekend, Trump seemed to first publicly float the idea that the military could help him fulfill his campaign pledge.

Perhaps the most notable refrain from Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign rallies was an audience call-and-response in which Trump, after whipping up his crowd by first insisting that he would build a wall if elected, then asked, “And who’s going to pay for the wall?”

“Mexico!” his crowds routinely shouted back in unison.

 

(Cover thumbnail photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

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