Trump Rejects Pelosi's Rejection of Wall Money: 'Because If There's No Wall, It Doesn't Work'

By Melanie Arter | January 31, 2019 | 1:33pm EST
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with members of Congress and American manufacturers before signing an executive order to strengthen the administrationÕs buy American policy, in the Oval office on January 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

( - President Donald Trump accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of “just playing games” Thursday when she said there won’t be any wall money in the border security deal.

“Nancy Pelosi said this morning that there’s not going to be a wall in this deal, but she did say she’d open to other kinds of physical barriers. Would you accept that?” a reporter asked the president during a cabinet meeting at the White House.

“No,” Trump said, “because if there’s no wall, it doesn’t work. She’s just playing games, so If there’s no wall, it doesn’t work, and we’re building the wall right now. I mean a lot of people don’t know that, but we have a lot of wall under construction. We’ve given out a lot of contracts over the last three, four weeks - good contracts. A lot of wall is soon going to be under construction.

“We’re finishing up design on certain areas. The most important area is the Rio Grande area and others,” he said. “We are building a lot of wall.”

As reported, when asked whether she would commit to allowing a floor vote on whatever border security measure the Appropriations conference committee produces - even if that means border wall money - Pelosi told reporters at her weekly Capitol Hill press conference, “We're not having a negotiation now -- over this right now. They're having a negotiation over it in there.

“There's not going be any wall money in the legislation. However, if they have some suggestions about some localities where technology, some infrastructure, as I've said, about the ports of entry, they might need some ports of entry, some roads -- that's part of the negotiation," she said.

Trump said he’s not waiting for the conference committee and he’s told “a lot of people, I don’t expect much coming out of the committee, because I keep hearing the words that we’ll give you what you want, but we’re not going to give you a wall, and the problem is if they don’t give us a wall, it doesn’t work.”

“Without a wall, it doesn’t work,” the president stressed. “We have caravans right now coming up from Honduras, who we give a lot of money to, which is stopping by the way, but we pay hundreds of millions of dollars to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and then they have caravans leaving the country, coming up here.

Trump said if you take down the wall in Tijuana, Mexico, there will be “so many people coming into our country that Nancy Pelosi will be begging for a wall.”

“Some people have suggested let me take the wall along California. Let’s move it to Arizona. Let’s move it to Texas, and you know it’d be a very interesting statement,” the president said.

“About Nancy, so in California, they wanted the wall built in San Diego so badly, and we built it, and probably I should have waited, because as soon as it was finished, they started screaming, ‘We don’t want a wall! We don’t want a wall!’ so badly, and by the way, it worked. Nobody’s getting through, but the minute it was built, they started saying, ‘We don’t want a wall,’” he said.

“Without a wall, it doesn’t work. It’s very simple. I mean I’m not saying this as a Republican. I’m not saying this as anything other than a fact stater. Without a wall, it just doesn’t work,” the president added.

When asked whether Congress is closer or further away from a deal on border security than they were before the shutdown, the president said, “I would say we’re the same, because I’m hearing they don’t want to do a wall - for political reasons.

“I actually think it’s bad politics. I mean frankly, I think them fighting us on what everybody knows has to be done to have proper security, and you can have other things, but the other things only really work if you have the physical barrier.

“Without the physical barrier, what are you going to have - drones flying over the 12,000 people? You’re going to have a nice drone doing circles around the 12,000 people that are walking in from Honduras and Guatemala and El Salvador,” he added.

Trump disputed the notion that he could handled the border security deal differently. He said by having the shutdown, he set the table for a border wall.

“If I didn’t do the shutdown, people wouldn’t know. They wouldn’t understand the subject. Now they understand the subject. They realize what a humanitarian crisis it is. It’s called like in dealmaking setting the table or setting the stage,” the president said.

“We’ve set the stage for what’s going to happen on the 15th of February,” Trump said, adding that he doesn’t think Congress will make a deal on border security.

“I see what’s happening. They’re all saying, ‘Let’s do this, but we’re not giving one dime for the wall.’ That’s okay, but if they’re not going to give money for the wall, it’s not going to work, and if it’s not going to work, then the politicians are really wasting a lot of time,” he said.

When asked whether he would declare a national emergency if there’s no money for the wall, Trump said, “I would do that. Yeah. We have money - just so you understand. We have money. We’re building the wall right now - a lot of it. People don’t know that, and nobody reports it,” the president said.

“We’re building the wall right now. It’s going up fairly rapidly. We’re renovating tremendous amounts of wall, which is good stuff that’s in very bad shape with massive holes in it and fencing coming down. It’s being beautifully renovated. In some cases, we have to replace it. We renovate some. We replace some. We build some new, but the wall is going up right now in all different forms,” he said.

“We’re going to see what happens on February 15th,” the president said, adding that he’s not concerned about legal challenges.

“On February 15th, the committee will come back, and if they don’t have a wall, I don’t even want to waste my time reading what they have, because it’s a waste of time, because the only thing that works for security and safety for our country is a wall. Now when you couple the wall with sensors and drones and all of these other things, that works as a combination, but if you don’t have a wall, they’re all just wasting their time. It’s just politics,” he said. 



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