During a meeting at the White House on immigration, President Trump told Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen never to “mention seven years again” in reference to the timeframe that DHS claimed it would take to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I can build it for less,” Trump said in regard to the recent DHS report which stated that it would cost them $18 billion to build the border wall.
“I must tell you, I’m looking at these prices and somebody said $42 billion,” Trump said. “This is like the aircraft carrier. It started off at a billion and a half and its now at $18 billion. No, we can do it for less.”
The DHS report, released by Nielsen, also noted that it would take 7 to 10 years for the border wall along the southern border to be constructed and finished, an estimate that Trump said he never wanted to hear mentioned again.
“We can do a great job. We can do a great wall, but you need the wall and I’m now getting involved. I like to build under budget, okay. I like to go under budget, ahead of schedule.”
“There’s no reason for 7 years, also.” Trump said as he looked and motioned at Nielsen. “I heard the other day, please don’t do that to me. Seven years to build a wall?! We can build the wall in one year.”
“Yes sir,” Nielsen responded.
“And we can build it for less much money than what they’re talking about,” Trump said as he leaned in to tell Nielsen.
“There is no reason to ever mention 7 years again, please,” Trump told Nielsen.
“I heard that I said I wanted to come out with a major news conference Tom, yesterday,” Trump said, pointing at Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), an ally of the president’s pro-American immigration agenda.
“It could go up quickly, it could go up effectively…” Trump said.