The Department of Interior says it is transferring 560 acres of federal land to the U.S. Army to speed up construction on 70 miles of border wall in Arizona, West Texas and California.
The president posted a video on his Twitter on Wednesday night, September 18, that shows he was touring a section of the U.S. -Mexico border wall in San Diego's Otay Mesa area.
Trump said USA troops could be taken away from the border as the wall was built, and that if Mexico stopped helping stem the flow of immigrants, imposing tariffs on Mexican imports would be considered.
"Just my name. They just said, 'Sir can you sign?' and the border patrol said, 'Can you sign your name?' and I did".
It's the Rolls-Royce version.
Asked where the funding for the border fence was coming from, Trump went on an extended riff about Congress trying to "stymie us by saying 1.6 billion, but only for renovation", and adding that "if we have even a small piece of steel going around that's called a renovation, because we take the piece of steel out and we put up a 30-ft wall".
Trump said the characteristics of the new wall in this area would make it harder for people to enter because it's not easy to climb or cut.
"It's a very powerful - very powerful - wall", the president, accompanied by border officials, said as he toured the Otay Mesa area.
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The president described the features of the wall and said that "20 mountain climbers" attempted to climb the wall to check its effectiveness.
"We're all thrilled", he said.
One official with Trump confirmed that the structure was funded with regular Congressional appropriations in the FY 2017 and FY 2018 and that that the new wall replaced an inferior structure.
Stretches of wall built at various sites total 66 miles so far.
Along with other promises to crackdown on illegal immigration, Mr. Trump's vow to erect a wall along the border with Mexico galvanized his supporters in 2016, and he's hoping construction will energize his base for his reelection.
The Pentagon's reversal is just one of many snags that the Trump administration has hit in seeing the president's border wall ambitions come to full fruition.
After a two-month-long impasse with congressional Democrats that led to the longest government shutdown in USA history, Mr. Trump declared a national emergency over immigration in February and indicated he would take unilateral action to secure funding for his long-promised border wall.