Mexico Couldn’t Pay for the Wall, Says Incoming Chief of Staff

Mick Mulvaney on ABC This Week

Incoming Chief of Staff for the Trump Administration, Mick Mulvaney, told "ABC This Week" that there isn't a method for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to force Mexico to pay for a southern border wall even if that was an option.

"Technically, you and I both know that it cannot work exactly like that,' said Mulvaney. "Department of Homeland Security can’t actually spend money from Mexico.  We have to get it from Treasury."

President Trump had claimed several times during his election bid that Mexico would "pay for" his border wall. During his term, however, that has changed, with demands that congress, using U.S. taxpayer money, would foot the bill for the fence.

In recent weeks, President Trump has claimed that the money would come from cost savings thanks to the renegotiated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA).

This same sentiment was echoed by the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee-Saunders, last Tuesday.

"We're not asking American taxpayers," said Saunders, even though congressional spending would obviously use taxpayer dollars. "the president has been clear that the USMCA deal would provide additional revenue through the deal that would show that Mexico has paid for the wall."

Mulvaney hedged on this point as well.

"USMCA, which is so much better for us than the (NAFTA) deal that American workers are going to do better, the government is going to do better and you could make the argument that Mexico is paying for it in that fashion," said Mulvaney."

The federal government is currently shut down during the holidays over disputes surrounding a 5-billion-dollar request for the border wall from President Trump.

View the exchange below:

Images via screen capture from video source.

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