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 HarrisOvernight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 Here are the 10 senators who voted against Trump's North American trade deal Team Trump criticizes Sanders for vote against USMCA MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday took aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president 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 WarrenEx-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Former Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball rips Warren over feud with Sanders MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 Here are the 10 senators who voted against Trump's North American trade deal Team Trump criticizes Sanders for vote against USMCA MORE (D-N.Y.), as well as Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard on personal meeting with Sanders: 'He showed me the greatest respect' Warren-Sanders dispute thrusts gender into 2020 spotlight Deval Patrick knocks lack of diversity in Democratic debate 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 BidenLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Ex-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Parnas says he doesn't think that Joe Biden did anything wrong regarding Ukraine MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersEx-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Former Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball rips Warren over feud with Sanders MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerNew Hampshire state lawmaker switches support from Warren to Klobuchar Here are the 10 senators who voted against Trump's North American trade deal Team Trump criticizes Sanders for vote against USMCA MORE (D-N.J.) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg among those expected to announce their plans for 2020.