Conway: Border wall remains a ‘very important priority’ for Trump


“Building that wall and having it funded remains an important priority to him. But we also know that that can happen later this year and into next year,” Kellyanne Conway says. | AP Photo

Funding and constructing his long-promised wall along the U.S. border with Mexico “remains a very important priority” for President Donald Trump, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday morning, even though he has signaled that he will not insist on money for it in a must-pass bill due by the end of the week to keep the government open.

Speaking to Fox News’s “Fox & Friends,” Conway said funding for the wall can be secured in the future and that in the meantime, additional resources have been directed and will continue to be directed to border security measures. Trump has insisted from day one of his presidential campaign that Mexico will pay for the wall, but since taking office has backtracked away from that position somewhat, suggesting that it be funded with taxpayer dollars for the sake of expediency while maintaining that the U.S. will be reimbursed by the Mexican government in one form or another at some point in the future.

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“Building that wall and having it funded remains an important priority to him. But we also know that that can happen later this year and into next year. And in the interim you see other smart technology and other resources and tools being used toward border security,” she said. “We’ll have those enhancements for border security and then moving on to funding and building the wall later on.”

Conway highlighted the executive order on immigration and border security signed by Trump on his sixth day in office and noted that illegal border crossings have hit a 17-year low. That dip, the counselor to the president said, is the result of Trump’s “resolve, plus the tools and resources” handed to immigration and border officials.

Money for the border wall would likely have been a major sticking point for Democrats should the president have insisted upon it in legislation that must pass this week in order to keep the government open. By deferring explicit funding for the wall into the future, Trump has removed one of the major obstacles to avoiding a government shutdown, one that would embarrassingly begin on his 100th day in office.

Conway also chided Democrats for being unwilling to support the wall when prominent members of the party, including former President Barack Obama and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, both former senators, as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer all voted in favor of a 2006 bill that authorized roughly 700 miles of fencing along some portions of the U.S.-Mexico border.

That legislation was far less ambitious than the border wall that Trump has proposed and Politifact rated a similar assertion made over the weekend – that Obama, Clinton and Schumer had all once voted in favor of a border wall in 2006 – half true.

“I suppose because they don’t want this president to have a victory on this, and that’s really petty and peevish and partisan,” Conway said when asked by the Fox News panel of hosts why Democrats oppose Trump’s wall when they supported the 2006 fence legislation. “They started to enhance border security and build the wall. It’s a matter of finishing it… The president is making the very reasonable request to continue it, continue the construction and continue the funding. And I appreciate you mentioning that because very few people, I think, are aware of it.”

Read more : http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/25/kellyanne-conway-border-wall-trump-237570

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