Trump says his border wall will be harder to climb than Mt. Everest

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE on Wednesday described his long desired border wall as a major deterrent against illegal immigration, suggesting that the structure will be harder to scale than Mt. Everest once completed.

"I can promise you this: I will never waver from my sacred duty to defend this nation and its people. We will get the job done," Trump told a joint conference of the Major County Sheriffs and Major Cities Chiefs Association.

"The wall is very, very on its way," he continued. "And it's a big wall. It’s a strong wall, and it’s a wall that people aren’t going through very easily. You’d have to be in extremely good shape to get over this one. They would be able to climb Mt. Everest a lot easier, I think. But it's happening."

Mt. Everest is the world's highest mountain above sea level at just over 29,000 feet. Hundreds of people have died trying to climb it.

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Last October, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen unveiled sections of wall built along the U.S.-Mexico border during the Trump administration that were 30 feet tall.

The president has offered varying descriptions in recent months of his desired wall along the nation's southern border. He has described it at times as a "wall," at other times as a "barrier," and sometimes as steel slats.

Trump's latest pitch for the effectiveness of a border wall comes as he mulls whether to sign legislation for border security funding brokered by a bipartisan group of congressional negotiators. 

The agreement includes $1.375 billion in funding for roughly 55 miles of new barriers along the southern border, and roughly $23 billion in total border security funds.

The president appears increasingly likely to sign off on the measure to avert another partial government shutdown. Trump's allies have signaled they expect him to back the deal and then seek additional money for a wall through other means, namely by taking executive action.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are moving forward with the legislation, suggesting they expect Trump to sign the bill. Trump must sign the legislation by Friday night to avert another partial government shutdown.