President Donald Trump told reporters he’s scaling back his original plans to build a 2000 mile border wall along the United State’s boundary with Mexico. That’s according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
“You don’t need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers,” Trump said to reporters on Air Force One during his flight to Paris. “You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing. So you don’t need that.”
The Los Angeles Times report stated the president said only 700 to 900 miles of the new barrier are needed. According to the LA Times report Trump suggested the wall was already being built because he said repairs were underway for parts of the border fence that were in bad shape.
“You know, we’ve already started the wall because we’re fixing large portions of wall right now,” he said. “We’re taking wall that was good but it’s in very bad shape, and we’re making it new.”
According to that report Trump also alluded to the fact the wall’s design would not be the same as descriptions he’d spoken about during the campaign trail. His new design resembles what’s already in place along the majority of the United State’s southern border.
“You need transparency. You have to be able to see through it,” Trump said. “In other words, if you can’t see through that wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall.”
The LA Times reported these comments were originally made off the record – meaning journalists were not to publish the context of the direct conversation. The president eventually changed his mind and put the comments on the record. The White House released a transcript of the conversation shortly after.