President Trump touted the early stages of construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, promising to “get that sucker built” in a campaign-style speech Thursday in Richfield, Ohio.
The speech, which lasted over an hour, was slated to roll out his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, but he also hit a wide-range of agenda items, including his paramount campaign promise—the wall.
“We started our wall—what a thing of beauty,” Trump said, noting critics suggested he would “give up.” “Has he given up? No I never give up.”
Trump added: “We’re getting that sucker built!”
The president’s comments come after he floated the idea of reprogramming military-designated funding to finance the construction of the wall. Congressional sources told Fox News this week that the move would be “impossible” without congressional approval at some point in the “reprogramming process,” as the money would need to be moved from one agency to another.
The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package passed last week only designated $1.6 billion towards construction of the wall. The president has repeatedly called the $1.6 billion in funding a “down payment” for the wall.
“The wall looks good. It’s properly designed. That what I do. I build,” Trump said. “I was always very good at building, I think better than being president. I was very good at building. But I think I’ll be better as president…that will be good.”
Trump discussed the different types of prototypes reviewed for construction of the wall, and said that “we have something special happening,” in the early stages of building.
On Wednesday, the president tweeted photos of the “start of our Southern Border WALL!” which were taken in California. The Department of Homeland Security said the photos were of an area of border wall replacement, which would be an approximately 2.25-mile section replaced with a 30-foot high bollard-style wall.
Trump went on to compare the United States border to the Koreas –noting that the U.S. spends “billions of dollars” to maintain other countries’ borders.
“Look at Korea. We have a border at Korea. We have a wall of soldiers who don’t get paid very much for this. You look at that, and nobody comes through,” Trump said Thursday. “But our own border—we don’t take care of it.”
He added: “We spend billions of dollars in other countries maintaining their borders, but we can’t maintain the border of our own country.”