New White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly believes he has convinced President Donald Trump to abandon his pledge to construct a large and lengthy wall along the border separating the United States and Mexico, according to The New Yorker.
At a private meeting in tony Aspen, Colorado, two weeks ago, Kelly told a group of high-profile attendees that he had extensively discussed the border wall issue with Trump. Kelly believes he persuaded Trump to abandon his policy goal of erecting a lengthy wall along the 1,954-mile border which the United States shares with Mexico, according to The New Yorker.
Instead of a wall, Kelly said he suggested Trump could utilize a combination of complex monitoring equipment, continuous air surveillance and many miles of fencing can effectively secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
Such a combination of materials and surveillance would be called a “barrier” instead of a “wall,” Kelly told his audience.
The people who attended the meeting are current and former principals in the U.S. national security apparatus.
Kelly, a Marine Corps general and formerly Trump’s Homeland Security secretary, also seemed to be suggesting that he can curb some of Trump’s tendencies and persuade Trump to dump what The New Yorker describes as his cartoonish policy initiatives.
Kelly, who took over White House operations on Monday, did note to his private Aspen audience that he could be wrong about believing he had persuaded Trump to give up on the border wall.
“But you never know: one tweet, and that could all change,” he said, according to the magazine.