Trump: 'We Are Going to Have Over 400 Miles of Wall Built by the End of Next Year'

Susan Jones | June 14, 2019 | 11:38am EDT
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Concertina wire is seen on a section of border fence near the US-Mexico border on June 12, 2019, in Hidalgo, Texas. (Photo by Loren ELLIOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

( - "So the wall is going up, it's going up rapidly," President Donald Trump told "Fox & Friends" on Friday.

"We are going to have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year. The wall is very important, it's hard to breach it, it's high, it's strong, it's powerful and it's going up at a much lower cost than the wall that was planned prior to me getting there -- it's much better wall, too."

Trump said the sections of wall built before he became president are a "disgrace."

And we are actually fixing it, and in some cases, we have to take down fairly new wall because it was so bad. But we're going to have over 400 miles of wall built, and that's going to be in the most important areas, and we're going to have all of it built before you know it. But this is despite tremendous obstacles that have been put in front of me by the Democrats. You have no idea.

And we just won the lawsuit on the wall, we won a big lawsuit on the wall brought by Nancy Pelosi, this (lawsuit) was brought by Nancy Pelosi, and maybe that's criminal -- that she's allowing drug dealers and gang members into our country, maybe that's criminal when you talk about it, because what's happening on the border is -- we're it getting straightened out.

It's a tough situation. You know how easy it would be to solve it if we met for 15 minutes with Democrats, you could solve the asylum problem and the loopholes in 15 minutes.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) plans to introduce legislation to close those loopholes, and President Trump backs Graham's bill.

Trump also told "Fox & Friends" he would "negotiate gladly" with any Democrats -- Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was mentioned -- who want to "get something done" about the border crisis.

"But they think it's good politics not to do anything," Trump said.

"The problem we have is we have election coming up, and they think open borders, and crime and drugs and everything else are good, I mean, if you look at it, open borders means crime. It just means crime. It means anybody can pour into the country.

“Now I have to say…the deal that I made with Mexico, they put 6,000 soldiers, paid for by them, they put 6,000 soldiers at their southern border. The stoppage is unbelievable, and I got reports yesterday, it's like day and night.”

At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense last month, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for construction of "the barrier."

“We now have on contract sufficient funds to build about 256 miles of barrier," Shanahan said. He said the money includes Department of Homeland Security Funds from Fiscal 2017 and 2018 as well as Treasury forfeiture funds and reprogrammed money.

Shanahan said he expects about 63 miles of barrier to go up in the next six months, "so about half a mile a day will be produced."

On April 9, the Defense Department awarded a total of $976 million to two companies to build the first bollard-style pedestrian border barriers in Santa Teresa, New Mexico and Yuma, Arizona, with money reprogrammed by President Trump's emergency declaration.

But press reports say the plans hit a snag when another construction company formally protested the contract awards as "highly flawed."  As a result of that protest, the Army Corps of Engineers reportedly plan to rebid the contract for the Yuma sector.

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