White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that a border wall with Mexico was necessary despite declines in illegal border crossings in recent months.
A his daily press briefing Monday, Spicer was asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta why Trump’s promised wall is necessary if, as the White House has repeatedly touted, illegal border crossings are down in the months since the President took office.
“Absolutely,” it was necessary, Spicer said.
“Just because you have a couple good months in a year, I think you want to make sure that you take prudent, long-term steps,” he added. “So the President is going to fulfill — and frankly, it’s a promise he made to the American people.”
“I think, if you’re coming in from our southern border, he has taken a lot of steps so far that has deterred border crossings,” Spicer continued. “But this is a permanent step that will extend beyond his presidency. Eight years from now the next president will have that wall in place to make sure that it doesn’t continue.”
Responding to Acosta again, Spicer said “that’s right,” Mexico would ultimately pay for the wall, despite the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s outright refusal to even consider the possibility. Spicer acknowledged earlier Monday that American taxpayers would initially pay for the wall.
“He talked about this,” Spicer said of that pledge, referring to Trump. “That in order to get the ball rolling on border security and the wall, that he was going to have to use the current appropriations process, but he would make sure that that promise would be kept, as far as the payment of it.”