In this April 15, 2016, file photo, a Donald Trump supporter flexes his muscles with the words “Build The Wall” written on them as Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Plattsburgh, New York. (Elise Amendola/AP)
WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that Mexico will reimburse American taxpayers for a new border wall and that U.S. money spent will be for the “sake of speed.”
His tweet came as congressional Republicans and his top aides consider a plan to ask Congress to ensure money is available in U.S. coffers for the wall without passing any new legislation. Instead, they would rely on existing law that already authorizes fencing and other technology along the southern border.
The potential approach was disclosed Thursday by two congressional officials and a senior transition official with knowledge of the discussions; all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Trump said in a tweet early Friday: “The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!” Mexico’s president and other senior officials have repeatedly insisted that Mexico won’t pay for a wall.
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly told voters if elected he would build a wall along the U.S. southern border and make Mexico pay for it.
But Trump never settled on a mechanism for how Mexico would pay. He floated various options, including compelling the country to cover the cost through higher visa and border crossing fees and threatening to target billions of dollars in remittances sent home by immigrants living in the U.S.
Trump transition spokesman Sean Spicer said putting U.S. money up-front “doesn’t mean he’s broken his promise.” In an interview Friday on ABC’s “Good…