In a Christmas Day appearance in the Oval Office, Trump issued a defence of his desire for a wall, saying it’s the only way to stop drugs and human traffickers from entering the country. In a nod to the political stakes he’s facing, Trump said he wants the wall by “election time” in 2020.
The promise of a border wall was a central component of Trump’s presidential campaign.
“I can’t tell you when the government’s going to be open. I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall or fence,” Trump said, referring to Democrats who staunchly oppose walling off the border.
“I’ll call it whatever they want, but it’s all the same thing,” he said after a holiday video conference with representatives from all five branches of the military stationed in Alaska, Bahrain, Guam and Qatar.