Trump Wants Wall Built By Election Day, Encourages Officials To Break Law If Needed

US President Donald Trump looks on during a joint-press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Biarritz, south-west France on August 26, 2019, on the third day of the annual G7 Summit attended by the lea... US President Donald Trump looks on during a joint-press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Biarritz, south-west France on August 26, 2019, on the third day of the annual G7 Summit attended by the leaders of the world's seven richest democracies, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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August 28, 2019 8:45 a.m.
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President Trump is so eager to deliver on his 2016 campaign promise of a border wall that he’s told officials he will pardon them if they have to break the law in order to get it constructed by Election Day, The Washington Post reported.

Trump has promised supporters his administration would construct at least 500 miles of border wall fencing before the 2020 election, but so far the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has only fixed about 60 miles worth of barriers that were already there to begin with.

According to people involved in discussions who spoke to the Post, Trump has been aggressively pushing for completion of the 500 miles before November 2020 and has regularly held meetings at the White House to discuss the progress. During meetings, Trump has told aides not to worry about breaking the law in order to finalize contracts or using eminent domain to seize property for the structure.

“Take the land,” he’s reportedly told officials, promising to pardon anyone who has to skirt the law in order to speed things up. A White House official told the Post that Trump was joking about the pardons.

Trump has also harped on the color and appearance of the barriers being built during meetings — he wants them painted black with pointy spikes on top — and bragged in one meeting about how loud people cheer for the wall at his rallies.

Later on Wednesday, Trump responded to the Post’s report, rattling on about “FAKE NEWS” and saying the story was made up to “demean and disparage.”

 

NBC News reported Tuesday that the Trump administration plans to divert at least $155 million from the FEMA disaster relief fund to help pay for the wall. Trump’s also using a large chunk of the Pentagon’s budget to complete the project, after Congress refused to give him $5 billion for wall construction.

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