President Trump spoke in front of a table full of guns, cash, and drugs—all items Border Patrol agents have seized—during his Thursday visit to the US-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas. "If we had a barrier of any kind, a powerful barrier, whether it’s steel or concrete ... We would stop it cold," Trump said, referring to problems including drugs and human trafficking. "Where you have a good strong barrier, you don't have problems," he added, per Fox News. "A lot of the crime in our country is caused by what's coming through here," he said as he stood along the Rio Grande, per the AP. He also addressed his demand for $5.7 billion in US taxpayer money to fund the wall and how it relates to campaign promises that Mexico would pay for the wall: "When I say Mexico is going to pay for the wall, that's what I said, 'Mexico is going to pay,'" he said, per CNN.
"I didn't say they're going to write me a check for $20 billion or $10 billion. No one's going to write a check. I said they are going to pay for the wall," he continued. "If Congress approves this [US-Mexico-Canada] trade bill, they’ll pay for the wall many, many times over. When I say Mexico’s going to pay for the wall, that’s what I mean." And as for complaints that building a wall is "medieval," Trump seemed to acknowledge that it is, but, "well, so is a wheel," he said. "There are some things that work, you know what? A wheel works, and a wall works." Demonstrators protested Trump's visit, and a huge "baby Trump" balloon even made an appearance. Meanwhile in DC, Senate Democrats failed to move forward with House-passed spending bills to reopen the government without funding the wall. (Trump said earlier Thursday he would "probably" declare an emergency over the need for a wall.)