President Donald Trump claimed on Thursday that he “never said” Mexico was going to pay directly for his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Despite previously claiming in a 2016 memo to reporters that Mexico would “make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion,” the president told reporters outside of the White House that the idea he ever said Mexico would pay directly for the wall is “fake news.” (RELATED: Trump: Mexico Is Still Paying For The Wall)
“Obviously, I never said [that], and I never meant that they’re gonna write out a check,” Trump said before boarding Marine One for his trip to McAllen, Texas. “I said they’re gonna pay for it. They are. They are paying for it with the incredible deal we made … the USMCA.”
“Mexico is paying for the wall indirectly and when I said Mexico was going to pay for the wall … obviously, they’re not going to write a check,” he repeated. “Congress has to approve the deal.”
The government is currently in its third week of a partial shutdown over a standoff on funding for Trump’s border wall. The president is demanding $5.7 billion in wall funding, but Democrats say they will only give just more than one billion to “border security,” not including a wall.