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Trump Pushes Back After John Kelly's Surprise Interview

The idea of an 'all concrete wall' remains very much alive, he says
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2018 10:12 AM CST
In this Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump makes a statement on the possible government shutdown before signing criminal justice reform legislation in the Oval Office of the White...   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – "To be honest, it's not a wall." So said outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly in a surprise weekend interview with the Los Angeles Times that President Trump apparently doesn't agree with. For context, Kelly said that while Trump still uses the word "wall," the president will regularly "say 'barrier' or 'fencing,' now he's tended toward steel slats. But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it." On Twitter Monday, Trump said that just isn't so, though he sourced the alleged disinformation to the media, not Kelly. The latest:

  • "An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media," he tweeted. "Some areas will be all concrete but the experts at Border Patrol prefer a Wall that is see through (thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides). Makes sense to me!"
  • In his interview, Kelly said that the Customs and Border Patrol agents he spoke with said while a "physical barrier" is needed in some places, they advocated for "technology across the board, and ... more people." Politico reports this aligns with what some critics of Trump's $5 billion border-wall request argue: that the money would be better spent on people and technology, not a physical wall.

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