White House aide says taxpayers will pay for border wall

White House aide says taxpayers will pay for border wall
© Hill.TV

White House communications adviser Mercedes Schlapp acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. taxpayers will pay for President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE's plans for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

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

"We want an orderly, legal immigration process," Schlapp added, while claiming that the Trump administration's unratified United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal would lead to a growth in jobs and economic opportunities for U.S. companies.

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Schlapp and the White House have previously acknowledged that the government would pay for construction of a wall along the souther border. Schlapp, earlier Wednesday, had said the wall would be funded by the USMCA.

Trump told reporters this week that he views such economic benefits as Mexico "indirectly" paying for the wall, though the trade deal has yet to be approved by Congress and such benefits would not directly affect the U.S. government.

"I view that as absolutely Mexico is paying for the wall," Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden this week.

CNN noted that White House acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Iran with new sanctions Top Democrat accuses White House of obstructing review related to Trump-Putin communications MORE said Sunday that border wall construction still "requires appropriation" of federal funds from Congress.

The president made his case to Americans to support his plan for a wall during a prime-time address from the Oval Office on Tuesday night. 

"The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico," he said.

Trump has claimed since the campaign trail that Mexico would pay for a wall along its northern border. The country has repeatedly denounced such claims.