Trump is continuing his effort to convince his base that not only will “the wall” be built but also that it won’t cost them a cent in tax dollars because the Mexican government will pay for it.
He repeated this claim on Saturday during a press conference — one day after requesting that Congress approve $18 billion in funding for the wall’s construction.
“I believe Mexico will pay for the wall,” he said. “I have a very good relationship with Mexico. But yes, in some form, Mexico will pay for the wall.”
Trump’s promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was one of his most popular pledges while he was campaigning to be president, and countless videos show frenzied crowds at his rallies chanting “Build that wall!” or sometimes simply “Wall! Wall! Wall!”
Donald Trump: Who's gonna pay for the wall?
Trump: 100%! 100%! pic.twitter.com/nY9FWd74D9
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 6, 2018
The Mexican government has repeatedly insisted that it is not going to pay for the wall, something which Trump actually begged Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to stop saying to the press during a phone call in August, as it made him look bad.
After Peña Nieto reiterated his stance that Mexico would not be spending any money on any wall, Trump responded by saying, “But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that, and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press, because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”
The chances of Trump’s wall ever becoming a reality have always been extremely low, which everyone around him has known since the beginning. A few Republicans have even said that talk of his famous wall was never meant to be taken literally.
“I always thought the wall was a metaphor for securing the border,” said Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson in April.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said something similar in May: “It’s a code word for better border security.”
In the meantime, Trump is refusing to accept the reality that this wall will probably never get built and is still trying to fool his voters into that they won’t have to pay for it, all while asking the U.S. government to do just that.
To make matters worse, Trump is using DACA recipients as bargaining chips by refusing to renew the program or make sure that they aren’t deported if Congress doesn’t agree to fund his wall.