Trump: More troops going to border but wall would be 'much easier'

Trump: More troops going to border but wall would be 'much easier'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE said Thursday that more U.S. troops are being deployed to the southern border, but argued that a border wall would be more effective in countering what he described as an "attempted Invasion of Illegals."

"More troops being sent to the Southern Border to stop the attempted Invasion of Illegals, through large Caravans, into our Country. We have stopped the previous Caravans, and we will stop these also. With a Wall it would be soooo much easier and less expensive. Being Built!" Trump wrote in a tweet.

The president's tweet comes after Acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanThis week: Mueller dominates chaotic week on Capitol Hill Overnight Defense: US shoots down Iranian drone | Pentagon sending 500 more troops to Saudi Arabia | Trump mulls Turkey sanctions | Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract Pentagon sending 500 more troops to Saudi Arabia: reports MORE announced earlier this week that a "few thousand" more troops would be deployed to the border. Shanahan didn't specify exactly how many troops would be sent.

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There are already more than 2,000 active-duty troops at the U.S.-Mexico border. Those troops were deployed shortly before November's midterm elections to counter what Trump claimed was a national security risk presented by Central American migrants seeking asylum in the U.S.

The number of active-duty troops at the border peaked at about 5,900 last year. The mission was originally slated to end in December but has since been twice extended, first to Jan. 31 and then to Sept. 30.

Democrats, who see the active-duty deployment as unnecessary, pressed Pentagon officials earlier this week over why troops were originally deployed and why they remain at the border.

“While border security is always a challenge, there’s really not much evidence that right at the moment it is a crisis that would call for the — if not unprecedented, then highly unusual — step of sending active-duty troops to the border,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithThe House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort Overnight Defense: Esper officially nominated for Defense secretary | Pentagon silent on Turkey getting Russian missile system | House, Senate headed for clash over defense bill House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill MORE (D-Wash.) said during a hearing on Tuesday.

Trump demanded more than $5 billion in funding to construct a border wall as part of a deal to reopen the government earlier this month. He ultimately agreed to fully reopen the government for three weeks without funding for the wall as part of a deal for a bipartisan group of lawmakers to negotiate increased border security.