Trump spars with CNN's Collins over border wall: 'You're not into the construction business'

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE sparred with CNN's Kaitlan Collins at a press conference Friday after the White House correspondent pressed him on the materials for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.

"You ran your campaign promising supporters that Mexico is going to pay for the wall," Collins started before the president interjected, "Here we go again."


"You said the wall will be made of concrete. You just said it could be made of steel. Right now our government is shut down over a demand from your administration that the American taxpayer pay for the wall," Collins continued. "How can you say you’re not failing on that promise to your supporters?"

"A very nice question so beautifully asked, even though I just answered it," Trump replied, sarcastically. "I just told you that we just made a trade deal. We will take in billions and billions of dollars, far more than the cost of the wall," Trump said. "The wall is peanuts compared to the value of this trade deal to the United States. As far as concrete, I said I was going to build a wall."

Collins responded that Trump had said he would use concrete for the wall.

"I know you’re not into the construction business," Trump told her. "You don’t understand something. We now have a great steel business that's rebuilt in the United States. Steel is stronger than concrete. If I build this wall or fence or anything that Democrats need to call it because I’m not into names, I’m into production, I’m into something that works." 

Trump held the press conference in the White House Rose Garden after meeting with congressional leaders behind closed doors. The remarks came amid a partial government shutdown, now in its 14th day, that began over an impasse between the White House and lawmakers over Trump's demand for $5 billion in border wall funding.

Trump, during the press conference, also threatened to keep about 25 percent of the federal government closed for years until he gets his desired funding for the wall.