Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Trump Says Paul Ryan Reneged On Deal To Fund Wall For Omnibus Signature

Richie McGinniss/TheDC

Vince Coglianese and Saagar Enjeti Editorial Director and White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump says former House Speaker Paul Ryan promised to secure wall funding while Republicans controlled both Houses in exchange for the president’s signature on the 2018 omnibus spending bill.

But after the president signed the massive, $1.3 trillion spending package, Ryan reneged on his commitment.

“Well, I was going to veto the omnibus bill and Paul told me in the strongest of language, ‘Please don’t do that, we’ll get you the wall.’ And I said, ‘I hope you mean that, because I don’t like this bill,’” the president recounted in an exclusive Wednesday interview with The Daily Caller.

“Paul told me in the strongest of terms that, ‘please sign this and if you sign this we will get you that wall.’ Which is desperately needed by our country. Humanitarian crisis, trafficking, drugs, you know, everything — people, criminals, gangs, so, you know, we need the wall.”

“And then he went lame duck,” Trump said.

“And once he went lame duck, it was just really an exercise in waving to people and the power was gone so I was very disappointed. I was very disappointed in Paul because the wall was so desperately needed. And I’ll get the wall.”


TRANSCRIPT:

THE DAILY CALLER: Well, the people who elected you are very interested in the immigration decision and what’s going on with this negotiation. Republicans in charge of Congress for two years didn’t get to your wall promise in Congress. How big of a roadblock to wall funding was Paul Ryan, now that he’s gone?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I was going to veto the omnibus bill and Paul told me in the strongest of language, ‘Please don’t do that, we’ll get you the wall.’ And I said, ‘I hope you mean that, because I don’t like this bill,’ although I love the bill for what it did for the military. And therefore, if it weren’t for the military, I would have vetoed it.

Just so you understand, our military needed funding desperately. Totally depleted. And this bill was great for the military. Had I vetoed it, you would never have gotten the numbers back that I got. 700 and 716 billion dollars over the past two years. Which is substantially more — much more than President Obama was able to get for the military.

So that was a negative, but a big factor as to why that was the reason I signed it. But another very big factor was the fact that Paul told me in the strongest of terms that, ‘please sign this and if you sign this we will get you that wall.’ Which is desperately needed by our country. Humanitarian crisis, trafficking, drugs, you know, everything — people, criminals, gangs, so, you know, we need the wall.

And then he went lame duck. And once he went lame duck it was just really an exercise in waving to people and the power was gone so I was very disappointed. I was very disappointed in Paul because the wall was so desperately needed. And I’ll get the wall.

THE DAILY CALLER: Did he lie to you? Did he play you?

TRUMP: I don’t want to say he lied. I think he probably meant it at the time, I guess. I hope. So I don’t call that lying. But when he went lame duck, meaning, he said he’s not running again — and it was very unusual because usually they’ll do that sometime after an election and he didn’t want to do that because it’s somewhat misrepresenting and I understand that too. But maybe you don’t run, okay? Maybe you just don’t run. And he had an excellent person taking his place in Congress, he ran a really great campaign, did a really good job.

So Paul said, please sign the omnibus bill. Now, in all fairness to Paul, I may have signed it anyway because it was so much more money than anyone ever thought possible for the military and equal to the wall, and maybe even greater than the wall was my promise to refurbish the military.