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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 HarrisHere's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart Carper urges Biden to nominate ambassadors amid influx at border MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday took aim at President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' 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 WarrenLawmakers bicker over how to go after tax cheats Warren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas Sanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandPush to combat sexual assault in military reaches turning point Sunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Overnight Defense: Capitol security bill includes 1M to reimburse National Guard | Turner to lead House push against military sexual assault | Pentagon drops mask mandate MORE (D-N.Y.), as well as Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFox News says network and anchor Leland Vittert have 'parted ways' New co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials Tulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' 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 Biden28 Senate Democrats sign statement urging Israel-Hamas ceasefire Franklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Schools face new pressures to reopen for in-person learning MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMusk's SpaceX has a competitive advantage over Bezos' Blue Origin New York, New Jersey, California face long odds in scrapping SALT  Warren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerPolice reform talks hit familiar stumbling block Almost 20 advocacy groups team up to pressure Congress to pass health care bill for immigrants Biden adds pressure to congressional talks with self-imposed deadlines MORE (D-N.J.) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg among those expected to announce their plans for 2020.