White House aide: Taxpayers will pay for wall

White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp talks to CNN's Jim Sciutto about President Trump's claims on how his proposed border wall will be funded.

Posted: Jan 10, 2019 5:11 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2019 5:21 PM

US taxpayers will foot the bill for a border wall, White House strategic communications director Mercedes Schlapp acknowledged in an interview on Wednesday.

"Yes," Schlapp said when pressed by CNN's Jim Sciutto about taxpayers paying for the wall. "And you know what else taxpayers are paying for? The financial burden of this illegal immigration."

The White House has previously acknowledged that the construction of a border wall will need to be funded by government dollars, but have insisted -- as Schlapp did on Wednesday -- that financial benefits from the revised, but still unratified, US-Mexico-Canada trade deal will ultimately cover the cost of the wall.

Speaking from the Rose Garden last week, President Donald Trump claimed that eventual economic benefits from a trade deal with Mexico and Canada meant he was keeping his campaign promise.

"I view that as absolutely Mexico is paying for the wall," Trump said.

And during Tuesday's Oval Office address, Trump said: "The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico."

But the US-Mexico-Canada trade deal has not yet been approved by Congress and even the perceived benefits of its passage would not amount to a Mexican -- direct or indirect -- payment of the border wall. Whatever economic benefits the trade deal delivers would be reflected in financial benefits to companies and higher wages for some individuals, not in any immediate financial boon to the US government.

And White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney noted Sunday that border wall construction "requires appropriation" of federal funds from Congress, even if financial benefits from the trade deal help cover the cost.

The evolution marks a contrast from the 2016 campaign, when Trump repeatedly pledged that Mexico would pay for the border wall -- a claim Mexican officials categorically rebuffed.

Schlapp also maintained that the trade deal is "going to bring more jobs back to America, it's bringing more business back to America and it's also going to keep our wages up."

"So this trade deal, in effect, does help pay for our border security," Schlapp said.

The White House has provided no concrete numbers to back up its claim, refusing to say how much money would be brought in by the trade deal and what percentage of those financial gains would cover border wall funding.

Schlapp's comments came as the White House continued its full court press to argue that there is a "crisis" on the southern border and that a wall is the solution to that problem.

Trump and Democrats remain at an impasse over border wall funding, with Trump so far refusing to agree to a spending bill that does not include border wall funding and Democrats refusing to support legislation that does fund a border wall.

West Lafayette
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 57°
Kokomo
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 53°
Rensselaer
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 55°
Fowler
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 55°
Williamsport
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 58°
Crawfordsville
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
58° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 58°
Delphi
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 56°
Monticello
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 56°
Logansport
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 54°
Dry Weekend with Coldest Weather of the Fall So Far on Sunday Night
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 175893

Reported Deaths: 4286
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion27107796
Lake15351372
St. Joseph10252178
Elkhart9964148
Allen9275235
Hamilton6799122
Vanderburgh648473
Tippecanoe436516
Porter379753
Hendricks3599139
Monroe351538
Johnson3506133
Delaware332081
Clark322467
Vigo296943
Madison275899
LaPorte256267
Cass237426
Kosciusko223529
Warrick214066
Floyd196269
Howard178467
Wayne165634
Dubois158827
Marshall157830
Bartholomew155359
Grant145340
Henry143830
Boone137850
Hancock132444
Noble131135
Jackson126920
Dearborn111028
Lawrence106238
Morgan106040
Clinton100816
Gibson99612
Shelby97937
Daviess97336
Knox91010
Fayette87522
DeKalb86713
LaGrange86115
Harrison85924
Putnam81717
Posey8138
Jasper7665
Miami7355
Steuben7189
Montgomery69422
White67016
Adams6518
Greene61138
Scott58716
Decatur58339
Ripley5338
Whitley5326
Wabash52610
Wells51712
Clay5137
Huntington5135
Starke5029
Sullivan49114
Randolph48811
Spencer4466
Orange44125
Perry44114
Fulton42510
Jefferson4235
Washington4223
Jennings40913
Franklin40626
Jay3996
Pike37618
Carroll37013
Fountain3623
Tipton29823
Rush2964
Vermillion2951
Blackford2766
Parke2754
Newton25211
Owen2291
Martin2100
Pulaski1884
Crawford1751
Brown1563
Ohio1477
Union1300
Benton1200
Switzerland1080
Warren1081
Unassigned0236

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events