Acting Pentagon chief not decided yet on funding border wall

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 17, 2019 - Duration: 01:16s

Acting Pentagon chief not decided yet on funding border wall

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.

Zachary Goelman reports

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Acting Pentagon chief not decided yet on funding border wall

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We're talking about an invasion of our country." When U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to circumvent Congress to tap funding to build a wall along the border with Mexico, he tried to cast the move as a response to an imminent security threat.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We're declaring it for virtual invasion purposes.

[FLASH] We have an invasion of drugs, an invasion of gangs, an invasion of people." To pay for the wall, Trump's emergency declaration would tap nearly $7 billion of Defense Department funds, including about $3.6 billion from the military construction budget and $2.5 billion from a Defense Department drug interdiction fund.

But in portraying a wall as am urgent national security need, and undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers as a threat, Trump may be getting ahead of his own military.

On Saturday the acting head of the Pentagon said he had not yet decided whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, ASKING: "So, at this point, you have not determined that, specifically a wall is required to meet that national emergency." (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTING U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY PATRICK SHANAHAN, SAYING: "There's been no determinations, by me." Trump's emergency declaration attempts to make good on a campaign promise to build a wall at the southern border.

His plan to take the money from the military is already facing legal challenges in U.S. courts.

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