Kamala Harris slams Trump's border wall as 'medieval vanity project'

Kamala Harris slams Trump's border wall as 'medieval vanity project'
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJam-packed primary poses a serious threat to Democrats in 2020 Pence hits 2020 Dems for skipping AIPAC Ex-GOP lawmaker Handel to run for her former Georgia seat in 2020 MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday took aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'Haven't thought about' pardons for Mueller target Pence: Rocket attack 'proves that Hamas is not a partner for peace' Conservation remains a core conservative principle MORE's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, describing it as a "medieval vanity project" during remarks at the official launch of her 2020 bid for president.

Harris spent a portion of her speech in Oakland, Calif., describing the meaning behind her campaign slogan, "For the People," a reference to her time as a prosecutor.

"For the people meant fighting transnational gangs that traffic in drugs, and guns and human beings," she said. "And I saw their sophistication, their persistence and their ruthlessness."

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"And folks, on the subject of transnational gangs, let's be perfectly clear: The president's medieval vanity project is not going to stop them," she continued, prompting raucous applause from the crowd.

The president's demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border triggered a partial government shutdown that ended last Friday after 35 days.

While Trump has portrayed the structure as a necessary deterrent to crime and illegal immigration, Democrats have insisted that a wall is "medieval," ineffective and a poor use of taxpayer money.

A group of bipartisan lawmakers are set to negotiate border security funding over the next three weeks. Trump has indicated he may declare a national emergency to build the wall or shut down the government again should the agreement not be to his liking.

Harris announced last week her intention to run for president in 2020, but formally kicked off her campaign with Sunday's rally in California.

Harris joins Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJam-packed primary poses a serious threat to Democrats in 2020 Pence hits 2020 Dems for skipping AIPAC Poll: Biden, Sanders lead Trump in Iowa MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandJam-packed primary poses a serious threat to Democrats in 2020 Klobuchar pressing Barr on release of Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Mueller report is huge win for President Trump MORE (D-N.Y.), as well as Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Harris's stepkids call her 'Momala' Chicago mayor race mirrors national push for more women in office, says columnist MORE (D-Hawaii), former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg among the Democrats who have officially declared their candidacy.

The field is expected to grow in the coming months, with former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenJam-packed primary poses a serious threat to Democrats in 2020 Stacey Abrams: Barr's Mueller letter 'like having your brother summarize your report card' Abrams launches 'Fair Vote' nonprofit ahead of 2020 census MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersJam-packed primary poses a serious threat to Democrats in 2020 Treason narrative collapses; who bears responsibility? Pence hits 2020 Dems for skipping AIPAC MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerNew Jersey set to cancel vote to legalize recreational marijuana Jam-packed primary poses a serious threat to Democrats in 2020 Poll: Biden, Sanders lead Trump in Iowa MORE (D-N.J.) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg among those expected to announce their plans for 2020.