Trump Says He’ll Bring The Cost of Mex­i­can Wall ‘Way Down’

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Wash­ing­ton: President Don­ald Trump pushed back early on Satur­day on as­ser­tions that the wall he wants built on the US bor­der with Mex­ico would cost more than an­tic­i­pated and said he would re­duce the price. Trump made his com­ments in two Twit­ter posts but did not say how he would bring down the cost of the wall.

Reuters on Thurs­day pub­lished de­tails of an in­ter­nal re­port by the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity that es­ti­mated the price of a wall alongth­een­tire­bor­derat$21.6bil­lion. Dur­ing his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign Trump had cited a $12 bil­lion fig­ure.

“I am read­ing that the great bor­der WALL will cost more than the govern­ment orig­i­nally thought, but I have not got­ten in­volved in the ... de­sign or ne­go­ti­a­tions yet,” Trump tweeted from his Florida re s o r t , where he i s host i ng Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe. “When I do, just like with the F-35 FighterJet or the Air Force One Pro­gram, price will come WAY DOWN!”

Trump said in late Jan­uary that his ad­min­is­tra­tion had been able to cut some $600 mil­lion from a deal to buy about 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fight­ers from Lock­heed Martin. De­fence an­a­lysts and sources down­played news of those cuts, say­ing the dis­count hailed by Trump was in line with what had been flagged by Lock­heed for months and would ap­ply to other coun­tries com­mit­ted to the pro­gramme.

A bor­der wall to stem il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion was one of Trump’s main cam­paign prom­ises. He has vowed to make Mex­ico re­im­burse the United States for its cost but Mex­ico has re­peat­edly said it will not do so. Trump also tweeted on Satur­day about an­other as­pect of his im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy — the le­gal bat­tle over the pres­i­den­tial or­der ban­ning en­try to the United States by refugees and cit­i­zens of seven Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­tries.

“Our le­gal sys­tem is bro­ken! ‘77% of refugees al­lowed into U.S. since travel re­prieve hail from seven sus­pect coun­tries.’ ( WT ) S O DAN­GER­OUS!” he said.

The tweet was in ap­par­ent re­ac­tion to a Wash­ing­ton Times story say­ing 77% of the 1,100 refugees who have en­tered the United States since Fe­bru­ary 3 are from the coun­tries cov­ered by Trump’s ban.

US President Don­ald Trump gives the thumbs up next to Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago re­sort in Palm Beach, Florida

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