In a press briefing in the Oval Office on Christmas day, President Trump explained that he intends to hold a “groundbreaking” style ceremony at the end of January to celebrate the construction of his proposed “great wall” along the United States-Mexico border.
The commander in chief said he planned to go to the southern border at the end of January 2019 to celebrate what he calls the construction of his a collection of new bollard fencing and replacement fencing.
“It’s a 2,000-mile border but much of it has mountains and region where you can’t get across,” Trump told reporters. “So we’re looking at between 500 and 550 [miles], so we gave out 115 [miles] yesterday. And we gave it out at a great price. We’re going to have a great wall there and we have other sections to give out.”
The president claimed on Christmas Eve that he has awarded Department of Homeland Security a contract to construct 115 miles of border wall in Texas.
I am in the Oval Office & just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas. We are already building and renovating many miles of Wall, some complete. Democrats must end Shutdown and finish funding. Billions of Dollars, & lives, will be saved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2018
“We’ve renovated massive amounts of very good wall — wall that was good, but that was in bad shape,” Trump continued. “So you don’t have to replace it, but you have to renovate it. And we’ve renovated a massive amount of wall. And in addition to that, and I think very, very importantly, we built a lot of new wall. So it’s all being built. The new piece, the new section is very, very exciting, what’s going on there.”
“And you’ll see it because in January I’m going there,” Trump said. “We’re almost having a groundbreaking – it’s such a big section. It’s probably the biggest section we’ll get out. So while we’re fighting over funding, we’re also building.”
The construction of the bollard fence and replacement fencing will be completed ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Trump noted, allotting less than two years to fulfill his primary 2016 campaign promise.
“It’s my hope to have this done, completed all 500 to 550 miles, to have it either renovated or brand new, by election time,” Trump said.
The federal government has been shut down for over a week as House and Senate Democrats refuse to support any funding for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Many House and Senate Democrats voted to fund the same bollard-style fencing constructed by Presidents Bush and Obama that they now oppose under President Trump.
The government will not open “until we have a wall” or “whatever they’d like to call it,” Trump warned.
“I can’t tell you when the government’s going to be open,” Trump told reporters. “I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they’d like to call it. I’ll call it whatever they want. But it’s all the same thing, it’s a barrier from people pouring into our country, it’s a barrier from drugs, it’s a barrier.”