In between games of “Be Best” hopscotch and the namesake event at the White House’s Easter egg roll, a child apparently couldn’t pass up the chance to press President Donald Trump on one of his signature campaign promises.
As he colored cards for service members on the White House’s South Lawn, Trump responded to a question from one of the children alongside him.
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“I will. Oh, It’s happening. It’s being built now,” Trump told the child, before speaking up to share the conversation with reporters. “Here’s a young guy who said, ‘Keep building that wall.’ Can you believe that?”
“He’s going to be a conservative someday!” Trump continued.
Building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has been among the most divisive of the president’s policy goals since the day he announced his run for the White House in 2015. Lawmakers have thus far stymied his request by providing minimal funding for the kind of barrier Trump originally envisioned.
The standoff over his wall came to a head at the end of last year when Trump plunged parts of the government into the longest shutdown in history, refusing to fund the government unless lawmakers relented on his funding requests for a border wall.
During the shutdown, Trump said he’d heard from government workers urging him to stand his ground in the border wall fight even if that meant they went without paychecks.
“Many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I’m doing,” Trump told reporters then. In a news conference during the shutdown, he insisted that “[a] lot of people that you think are upset — and certainly they’re not thrilled — but they say, ‘Sir, do the right thing. We need border security.’ And these are people that won’t be getting paid.”
Trump in February declared a national emergency in order to circumvent Congress and unlock military funds for his wall; that effort has been tied up in the courts.
But the president has traveled to the border several times recently, heading to California several weeks ago to commemorate the first section of completed barrier of his administration, though it was a replacement fencing project that had been in the works since the Obama administration.
Trump has also repeatedly asserted that large portions of the wall across the border were already well underway, though no new sections of wall have been built.