Trump claims only an ‘Olympic champion’ could climb over his 30ft border wall
- Trump took questions from reporters from the Oval Office on Christmas Day
- He said the Mexico-US border wall would be ‘very high’, as high as 30ft
- ‘There may be the case of an Olympic champion who can get over the wall,’ he said, adding that it would be nearly impossible for an immigrant to scale it
- Trump said he is aiming to have the wall completed by Election Day in 2020
President Trump insists that those trying to enter the US from Mexico illegally won’t stand a chance against his border wall – that is, unless they’re an Olympic athlete.
Speaking from the Oval Office on Christmas Day, Trump said he’s already begun building the southern border wall, and it would be ‘very high,’ as high as 30 feet in some areas, making it impractical for most illegal immigrants to scale it.
‘There may be the case of an Olympic champion who can get over the wall,’ Trump told reporters. ‘But for the most part, you’re not able to do it.’
Trump took questions from reporters from the Oval Office on Christmas Day, saying the Mexico-US border wall would be as high as 30ft
Trump was at the White House this week, having cancelled his Florida holiday to be in Washington for the duration of the partial shutdown.
Some 800,000 federal workers have been affected by the shutdown. They have either been asked to work without pay or take an unpaid leave of absence for the duration of the dispute.
After he addressed members of the military on Christmas, he took questions on the border wall.
‘It’s going to be 30 feet, much of it is 30 feet high,’ Trump said. ‘Some of it’s lower, but in some areas we have it as high as 30 feet. That’s like a three-story building.
‘So we’re making great progress on renovation, on fixing, and we’re making great progress on building new wall and most excitingly, we gave out our largest section yesterday and that work is starting next week.’
It was not immediately clear where in Texas the president is building his wall, as none of the legislation that has been approved since he took office explicitly gives him permission to build a brand new barrier on as much land as he says the contracts cover.
He is promoting a ‘steel slats’ fencing design, pictured is the US border fence seen from Tijuana, Mexico
There, he harped that Senate Democrats working against his wall had favored fencing — until he called it a wall and ran for office
He has permission to build and replace fencing in some areas and is asking for unfettered authority and at least $5 billion in taxpayer funds to complete the construction project.
The president said in the Oval Office on Tuesday that he is aiming to have 500 to 550 miles of wall either renovated or completed by Election Day in 2020.
He also claimed that he’s getting $25 billion from Congress for border security that has already been approved. Any legislation that contained money for border security like what Trump was describing has not passed Congress, however.
‘That’s for everything,’ Trump said of the larger pot on Tuesday morning. ‘Plus we have some wall money in there. But, we want the wall money to be increased. Because I want to finish it.’
Trump said a day prior that the $25billion his administration is seeking for border security is not the same as the money he’s seeking for the border wall. The White House last said it was seeking somewhere between $1.6 billion and $5 billion for just the border wall.
Trump said he is aiming to have the wall completed by Election Day in 2020