Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said President Donald Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall could be paid for with improperly paid tax credits that go to “mostly Mexicans.”
Partial transcript as follows:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You sound quite confident right there.
Do you have any evidence that Mexico is going to pay for it?
SESSIONS: Well, we’re going to get paid for it one way or the other. I know there’s $4 billion a year in excess payments, according to the Department of the Treasury’s own inspector general several years ago that are going to payments to people — tax credits that they shouldn’t get.
Now, these are mostly Mexicans.
And those kind of things add up — $4 billion a year for 10 years is $40 billion. There are a lot of ways we can find money to help pay for this. But in the long run…
STEPHANOPOULOS: How are you going to…
SESSIONS: — they’ve lost those…
STEPHANOPOULOS: — account for that money?
SESSIONS: What’s that?
STEPHANOPOULOS: How are you going to account for…
SESSIONS: Well, we just…
STEPHANOPOULOS: — that money?
SESSIONS: The Department of Treasury, several years ago, under the Obama administration, said that if you change the regulations and enforced it properly, you would save up to $4 billion a year.
There are other things that we can do at the border to create revenue that would pay for the wall. There’s no doubt about that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But in your discussions with your counterparts in Mexico, they have given no indication at all that the Mexican government is prepared to pay a single cent for this wall (INAUDIBLE)?
SESSIONS: Well, I don’t expect the Mexican government to appropriate money for it. But there are ways that we can deal with our trade situation to create the revenue for it. No doubt about it.
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