Political News

Trump says position on border wall 'has never changed or evolved'

Posted January 18, 2018 6:41 a.m. EST

— President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that he has remained consistent in his plans for a border wall, a day after his chief of staff, John Kelly, said he has "changed his attitude" on it.

"The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water," the President tweeted.

"The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S. The $20 billion dollar Wall is "peanuts" compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!"

Appearing on Fox News Wednesday evening, Kelly pointed to the border wall as an example of how the President has adjusted his views after being briefed by experts.

"He has evolved in the way he's looked at things," Kelly said, adding, "Campaign to governing are two different things, and this President has been very, very flexible in terms of what is within the realm of the possible."

He added, "He's changed his attitude towards the DACA issue and even the wall."

Sources also told CNN that Kelly told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that some of Trump's positions as a candidate on the border wall were "uninformed."

From December 2016 through November 2017, the United States ran a trade deficit of $70.1 billion with Mexico, according to the Commerce Department. That figure represents goods only -- things like cars, oil and food.

Including services, the trade deficit with Mexico was $68.3 billion from October 2016 through September 2017, the most recent figures available. This includes things like tickets on US airlines, US banking services and US media services.