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President Donald Trump says “planning is starting immediately” on his U.S.-Mexico border wall, which will, at least at first, be financed by U.S. taxpayers.
In his first TV interview as president, Trump sat down with ABC’s David Muir on Wednesday at the White House to discuss one of his biggest campaign promises: the border wall that Mexico would finance.
The new president clarified his stance to Muir, saying that negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico about the wall would begin “relatively soon” and that though U.S. taxpayers will be responsible for financing it at first, “we will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico, which I’ve always said,” assuring Muir that Mexico would pay the U.S. back “100 percent.”
The border wall was one of Trump’s biggest campaign promises, becoming a talking point at rallies but also a chant, with crowds repeating “Build the wall!” and Trump asking “Who will pay for it? and crowds responding “Mexico!”
“We’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico,” Trump explained. “I’m just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. What I’m doing is good for the United States. It’s also going to be good for Mexico. We want to have a very stable, very solid Mexico.”
When Muir asked how soon he plans to begin constructing the wall, Trump responded, “as soon as we can, as soon as we can physically do it,” he said. “Certainly planning is starting immediately.”
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has insisted that Mexico will not pay for a border wall, is expected to visit the White House next week.
Muir also asked Trump about his repeated claims of apparent voter fraud, which have since been debunked. Trump doubled down on the unsubstantiated claims, telling Muir that he is planning a probe into voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.
“You have people that are registered who are dead, who are illegals, who are in two states,” he told Muir. “When you look at the people that are registered: dead, illegal and two states — and some cases maybe three states — we have a lot to look into.”
The interview will air Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. Watch a preview below.
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