Trump: 'I never meant' Mexico would 'write a check' for the wall

President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE said Thursday he never meant Mexico was "going to write a check" when he said repeatedly that the nation would pay for a border wall.

“When during the campaign, I would say 'Mexico is going to pay for it.' Obviously, I never said this and I never meant they are going to write out a check,” Trump said. “I said they are going to pay for it.” 




Speaking outside the White House to reporters before leaving to visit the border, Trump said Mexico would be paying for the proposed wall through a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, which has yet to be ratified.

“[Mexico is] paying for it with the incredible deal we made,” he said.

"So, Mexico is paying for the wall, indirectly. And when I said Mexico will pay for the wall in front of thousands and thousands of people, obviously they are not going to write a check, But they are paying for the wall indirectly,” Trump said.

Throughout his presidential campaign in 2016 and since taking office, Trump has said Mexico would be paying for a border wall.

On Wednesday, White House communications adviser Mercedes Schlapp acknowledged that U.S. taxpayers would be paying for the wall.

"Yes," Schlapp said when asked by a reporter whether taxpayers would ultimately pay for the wall. "And you know what else taxpayers are paying for? The financial burden of this illegal immigration."

The federal government is currently in its third week of a partial shutdown due to an impasse over funding for Trump's border wall. The president has demanded more than $5 billion for a wall and has said he will not sign a spending bill without border wall funding.