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 HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Biden's lead narrows in early voting states: poll New CBS poll shows Biden with 7-point lead in New Hampshire MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday took aim at 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'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 WarrenWarren warns another 'economic crash' is coming The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Biden's lead narrows in early voting states: poll MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage MORE (D-N.Y.), as well as Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardNew CBS poll shows Biden with 7-point lead in New Hampshire Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters 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 BidenJoe BidenUkrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Biden campaign taps foreign policy vet Nicholas Burns as adviser: report MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders'Medicare for All': The hype v. Maryland's reality Biden says he supports paying campaign staff minimum wage Biden's lead narrows in early voting states: poll MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerTrump tweets, rally chant dominate Sunday shows as president continues attacks Sunday shows - Fallout over Trump tweets Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' MORE (D-N.J.) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg among those expected to announce their plans for 2020.