President Donald Trump last week suggested that the Pentagon pay for his proposed border wall between the US and Mexico, according to a report published in The Washington Post, claiming that it was an issue of “national security” that the wall be funded.
In addition to pushing the topic with “several advisers” last week, three sources told the Post that Trump also spoke with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) about the idea of a military-funded border wall.
The sources said Ryan allegedly had little reaction to the president’s suggestion, though senior Capitol Hill officials said its prospects were unlikely.
Two White House officials also alleged that Trump voiced confidence that the Defense Department could and would fund the wall’s cost under what he lauded as the “historic” omnibus spending bill, which allotted $700 billion in funding for the military.
Reallocating any portion of that $700 billion to the wall would require an act of Congress, a senior Pentagon official told the Post. Such a vote would require President Trump to secure 60 votes in the Senate.
Only $1.6 billion was appropriated toward border security under the funding bill, far less than the $25 billion President Trump has requested for his border wall project.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during her regular press briefing on Tuesday said that she could not “get into the specifics” of any plans President Trump may or may not have to request military funding for the project. She did, however, say the president is still looking for ways to have Mexico pay for the wall.
“I can tell you that the wall is continuing to be built currently and we're going to keep pushing forward until it's fully completed in the way the president feels is necessary to defend the country,” Sanders told reporters.
The rumors surrounding where the president might search for funding for the wall began circulating earlier this week when he tweeted, “Build WALL through M!” which some believed meant “military.”