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Acting Pentagon chief: 'We have not made any decisions' on wall funding
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said Saturday that he had not yet made any decisions on how much money would be redirected from the military budget to help fund President Trump's border wall.
"We always anticipated that this would create a lot of attention and since moneys potentially could be redirected, you can imagine the concern this generates," Shanahan told reporters traveling with him abroad.
"Very deliberately, we have not made any decisions, we have identified the steps we would take to make those decisions," he added.
Shanahan said he would review an initial analysis on the potential wall funds on Sunday.
He told reporters he has "a lot of discretion," but that he would not bend the law to reallocate funding.
He added that military planners had done the initial analysis and he would start reviewing it on Sunday.
A U.S. defense official told Reuters that Shanahan was likely to approve the $3.6 billion Trump identified to be redirected from the military construction budget toward wall funding.
Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to bypass Congress and spend roughly $8 billion on barriers along the southern border, a big step toward building his long-promised wall that also comes with significant political and legal risk.
The president's declaration highlighted $3.6 billion in military construction funding toward the border project. Those funds would be paired with separate executive action repurposing about $2.5 billion from the Defense Department's drug-interdiction program and $600 million from the Treasury Department's asset-forfeiture fund.
Lawmakers from both parties have pushed back against Trump's emergency declaration, and the move has already drawn a flurry of lawsuits.