Several reporters in Tuesday’s White House press briefing failed to get a detailed answer out of press secretary Sarah Sanders as to whether President Trump is pursuing using defense department omnibus funds to build the promised southern border wall.
Early Sunday morning the President tweeted about the hundreds of billions in military funding included in the omnibus he signed last week and appeared to suggest using military funding to build the wall.
Because of the $700 & $716 Billion Dollars gotten to rebuild our Military, many jobs are created and our Military is again rich. Building a great Border Wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our Country, is all about National Defense. Build WALL through M!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2018
One reporter asked during the Tuesday briefing what omnibus Defense Department funding the President believes he could get to construct the southern border wall without approval from Congress.
“I can’t get into the specifics of that at this point, but I can tell you that the continuation of building a wall is ongoing and we’re going to continue moving forward in that process,” replied Sanders.
Asked about Trump’s tweet about the border wall and military funding, Sanders said, “Again, I’m not going to get in to the specifics of that, but 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 that the President feels is necessary to defend the country.”
Pressed about the President’s promise to get Mexico to pay for the border wall, Sanders said, “I’m not going to go beyond what the President’s already said. I think he still has plans to look at potential ways for that to happen.”
Sanders was asked specifically about the $655 billion in omnibus defense funding and whether “the President is aware that he would be overstepping his executive authority if he did such a thing without congressional approval?”
“As I said, I don’t have any specific announcements and details on that at this time,” she replied.
The reporter pressed further, specifically aiming at the President’s tweet and probing the constitutionality of the President’s suggestion.
“The President would certainly work with White House counsel to make sure any action he takes is fully within his rights and his executive authority,” Sanders assured.
Yet another reporter pressed at length on the issue of the wall: “Could you give us a few specific ways in which the President is still considering having Mexico pay for the wall? I think a lot of the base is wondering and a lot of his supporters have come out and asked questions, people such as Ann Coulter have said that the President is not keeping his promise on this. So I’d like to ask you, what ways is he considering to have Mexico pay for the wall?”
Sanders assured, “When we have an announcement on that I’ll let you know.”
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