Sarah Sanders cites El Chapo in push for border security

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday welcomed the conviction of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, citing his case amid the administration's push for border security funding.

"El Chapo’s reign of terror is over," Sanders tweeted. "He‘ll spend the rest of his life in a maximum security prison. The threat from violent drug cartels is real - we must secure our border."

Guzmán was convicted on all counts earlier Tuesday in New York City after a lengthy trial that highlighted the violence and bribery associated with the drug trade.


Known as "El Chapo" for his small physical stature, Guzmán became infamous as he rose to the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, escaped twice from maximum security prisons and avoiding several close calls with security services, and became the highest-level drug lord ever extradited from Mexico to the United States.

Sanders highlighted El Chapo to push for border security as President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE considers whether to sign an agreement from congressional negotiators.

The proposal would provide $1.375 billion in funding for roughly 55 miles of new barriers along the southern border, well short of the $5.7 billion Trump demanded late last year when he triggered a partial government shutdown that lasted 35 days.

Shelby told reporters that he explained to the president that the agreement contained nearly $23 billion in total funding. The senator added that he did not ask Trump if he would sign the bill, calling the question "premature."

Funding for a number of government agencies expires on Friday, meaning parts of the government will shutter if Trump does not sign the legislation by then.

The president on Tuesday night signaled openness to the agreement, suggesting that its funds could be combined with others to build his desired wall along the southern border. Trump has often cited the flow of drugs into the country in his push for a wall, though critics have noted those substances often travel through legal ports of entry.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump, Democrats risk unintended consequences with impeachment arguments Impeachment trial to enter new phase with Trump defense Jordan says he thinks trial will be over by next week MORE (R-Texas) earlier Tuesday also sought to tie Guzmán's conviction to the ongoing fight for border security funding by pushing for action on his legislation titled the EL CHAPO Act.

The bill would take any money forfeited to the U.S. by Guzmán and other drug lords as a result of criminal prosecutions and direct those funds toward "border security assets" and the completion of a border wall.