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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 HarrisBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden says family will avoid business conflicts Biden says China must play by 'international norms' MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday took aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts 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 WarrenSchwarzenegger says he would 'absolutely' help Biden administration Disney chair says he would consider job in Biden administration if asked Despite veto threat, Congress presses ahead on defense bill MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Democratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' MORE (D-N.Y.), as well as Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTrump doubles down on Section 230 repeal after GOP pushback Six people whose election wins made history Next Congress expected to have record diversity 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 BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFormer Sanders press secretary: 'Principal concern' of Biden appointments should be policy DeVos knocks free college push as 'socialist takeover of higher education' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Giuliani denies discussing preemptive pardon with Trump MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerJudge whose son was killed by gunman: 'Federal judiciary is under attack' Biden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Policy center calls for new lawmakers to make diverse hires MORE (D-N.J.) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg among those expected to announce their plans for 2020.