President Donald Trump said Sunday he’ll offer Democrats a ‘steel barrier’ instead of concrete wall because ‘they don’t like concrete so we’ll give them steel.’
‘We’ll build a steel barrier,’ he told reporters at the White House after he returned from a staff retreat at Camp David.
‘It’ll be less obtrusive and it’ll be stronger,’ he added.
He said he was making the offer to Democrats because ‘they don’t like concrete so we’ll give them steel.’
‘Steel is actually more expensive than concrete but it’ll look beautiful and it’s very strong. It’s actually stronger,’ he added.
President Trump said his border wall can be built of steel instead of concrete
Trump said he intends to call steel companies and ask them to design a template that can be used for his border wall
‘We have an absolute crisis,’ he said of the border.
Trump said earlier on Sunday his border wall can be built of steel instead of concrete if that will help Democrats come to terms in negotiations to reopen the government.
‘The barrier or the wall can be steel instead of concrete if that helps people. It may be better,’ the president said at the White House before he left for Camp David for a staff retreat.
He said he plans to call steel companies to ask them for a design for his wall.
‘I intend the call the heads of United States Steel and a couple of other of our great steel companies. I will have them come up with a template or design of a beautiful steel product, which we now may use and use that as our barrier,’ he said.
In his remarks the president touted how great U.S. steel companies were doing under his administration.
During the 2016 campaign Trump vowed to bring back steel jobs, a promise that helped him win manufacturing states like Pennsylvania.
‘This wall will pay for itself many times during the course of the year,’ he vowed.
Trump had once vowed to build a concrete border wall, but now says it will be made of steel slats.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on Sunday the construction materials could be changed in order to reach a compromise between Democrats and the president.
‘If he has to give up a concrete wall, replace it with a steel fence in order to do that so that Democrats can say, ‘See? He’s not building a wall anymore,’ that should help us move in the right direction,’ Mulvaney said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’
‘Call it a wall, call it a fence, the president actually said he didn’t care what you call it. He even offered to let the Democrats help him design something. He says as long as it’s effective, he doesn’t care what you call it. We need something to prevent people from coming into this country illegally,’ Mulvaney said.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins called the debate over construction material ‘bizarre.’
‘I’ve always thought that the debate over what the physical barrier should be constructed of was rather bizarre,’ she said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’ ‘We do need to strengthen our border security. We know that 90% of the heroin is coming across the southern border, along with human traffickers and a lot of unaccompanied children. That’s not good either. But we need to look at more than just a physical barrier. We need to look at more border patrol agents, technology and other means as well.’
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said any offer from the president would be discussed.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said the wall’s construction materials could be changed in order to reach a compromise between Democrats and the president
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said any offer from the president would be discussed
‘It is an offer he made, and it’ll be discussed,’ he said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’ ‘What we ought to do is open up the government first.’
Host Chuck Todd asked Hoyer: ‘If it’s a steel fence and he doesn’t call it a wall, can you accept that?’
‘Chuck, let me say: We’ve done fencing in the past, as you know,’ Hoyer said.
Todd pressed him to see if a fencing offer was on the table.
‘We’ve done fencing in the past,’ Hoyer said.
He added: ‘The administration has not come up with any specific plan as to how they’re going to spend this money.’
During a meeting on Saturday with Vice President Pence, White House adviser Jared Kushner, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Mulvaney, Democrats pushed for details on how the president will spend the money he has requested.
Democratic staffers asked administration officials to lay out in formal detail the funding request for the border – including its specific security requests, what the money would be used for, and what in the Homeland Security budget the administration would cut to make the numbers work, The Washington Post reported.
Mulvaney said the request could drag out negotiations.
‘The discussion immediately turned to a bunch of technical requirements or technical requests that the Democrats were asking for the first time ever in these negotiations, so I think this is going to drag on a lot longer. I think that’s, that’s by, by intention,’ he said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’
The group is reconvening Sunday afternoon as the government enters day 16 of a partial shutdown.
President Trump said he doesn’t expect anything to come out of Sunday’s meeting after Saturday’s produced no movement toward reopening the government.
The president said ‘very serious talks’ would continue on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the coming week.