(CNSNews.com) – During a cabinet meeting prior to a planned sitdown with congressional leaders, President Donald Trump was reticent to say whether he’s willing to accept less than the $5.6 billion he has requested for a border wall.
When asked whether there was a number below $5 billion he’d be willing to accept to reopen the government, Trump said, “Well I’d rather not say it. Could we do it for a little bit less? It’s so insignificant compared to what we’re talking about.”
The president said the country loses $275 billion on illegal immigration, “and here we have a wall we’re talking about to complete, ‘cause again, a lot has already been done.”
What's more, the Democrats are pushing for $12 billion more in foreign aid, Trump said, bringing the total foreign aid to $54 billion.
“The Democrats in the bill want $12 billion additional for foreign aid. They want $12 billion more. It’s $54.4 billion, which is by itself a lot, but in foreign aid, they want $12 billion over the $54 billion. Think of it. We give $54 billion - a lot of it because they want to give it,” Trump said.
“They don’t even know who they’re giving it to. In many cases, people don’t even know the name of the country … and yet, so they’re going to give $54 billion in foreign aid, but they want $12 billion more than that in foreign aid, but they won’t approve $5.6 billion for a wall that’s going to pay for itself almost on a monthly basis. It’s just politics folks,” he said.
Democrats haven’t used DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) as a bargaining chip, the president said, because of a recent court ruling that said DACA was okay. The issue was appealed and now goes to the Supreme Court. The president said once the high court rules on DACA and rules it unconstitutional, the Democrats will be willing to make a deal on DACA and the wall.
“The Republicans are all for doing something for DACA, but it’s been so misreported. We had a, the confines of a deal, and the $25 billion didn’t just cover a wall. It covered a lot of border security. We have a lot of that. It’s been covered very incorrectly, but it’s confusing to a lot of people,” Trump said.
“We were close to having a DACA deal, and then we had a judge from the 9th Circuit - amazing ruling - and he said DACA was okay even though when President Obama signed it he essentially said, ‘Well, probably can’t sign this. Probably not legal, but I’m gonna sign it anyway.’ And so everybody thought that it was gonna be easily overturned by the judge, and the judge amazingly ruled in favor of that signing, even though President Obama didn’t think it was going to hold up as he signed it. He said it. Go back and check,” he said.
“And then you had it upheld in the 9th Circuit on appeal, and now it’s going to the Supreme Court of the United States. We had a deal pretty close to being done, and a lot of people said I backed away from that deal. I didn’t back away. The minute the judge overruled the case and they allowed DACA, they didn’t talk to us about - and I don’t blame them - they didn’t answer the calls. They said, ‘I’m not going to approve that. We won the case. Why should we make a deal with DACA?’” Trump recalled.
“I think it’s going to be overturned in the United States Supreme Court, and I think it’s going to be overwhelmingly overturned. I mean nobody thinks that should have happened. We think it was a fluke, and it was a disgraceful situation that a judge ruled the way the judge ruled, but we think it’s going to be overturned. It’s now going - as you probably heard two weeks ago - it’s now going, it will be in the United States Supreme Court,” the president said.
“So if we win that case - and I say this for all to hear - we’ll be easily able to make a deal on DACA and the wall as a combination, but until we win that case, they don’t want to really talk about DACA although they should because there are those that don’t want to allow DACA.
“I happen to think that we can do something with DACA,” Trump said, adding that the Democrats are “foolish if they don’t want to make a deal with DACA, because if we get overridden, that means everybody that’s been here has to leave the country.”