- Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
President Donald Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday night that his proposed wall along the US-Mexico border would need to be see-through so that people on the US side wouldn’t get hit by massive sacks of drugs tossed over it.
The comments were part of a lengthy statement Trump gave on the status of the wall, which was a central promise of his campaign. It was the most in-depth Trump had gone into discussing the wall publicly in months.
“One of the things with the wall is you need transparency,” Trump said. “You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can’t see through that wall – so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall.
“And I’ll give you an example: As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them – they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over,” Trump continued. “As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs.”
The idea of people tossing large amounts of drugs across the border is not far-fetched. For example, in September, Mexican authorities came across a panel van that had been modified to carry a “cannon” that was possibly used to launch drugs into the US. Additionally, US authorities have said since 2012 that traffickers have used such cannons to launch drugs.
Trump also told reporters he was serious about pursuing a wall covered in solar panels, which he said at a rally last month would allow for Mexico to “pay much less” for the structure because of the energy created as a result.
“No, not joking, no,” he said. “There is a chance that we can do a solar wall. We have major companies looking at that. Look, there’s no better place for solar than the Mexico border – the southern border. And there is a very good chance we can do a solar wall, which would actually look good. But there is a very good chance we could do a solar wall.”
He later said, “We are seriously looking at a solar wall.”
During a face-to-face meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto last week at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Trump said he “absolutely” still wanted Mexico to pay for the wall, aimed at controlling the flow of illegal immigration over the southern border of the US, as he had insisted during the campaign. Mexico has repeatedly said it would not pay for a wall.
House Republicans proposed allocating $1.6 billion in the next fiscal year to fund construction of a wall, saying that would provide what is necessary to begin the project, CBS News reported.
The comments aboard Air Force One were originally off the record. But after Trump asked New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman why she didn’t publish anything he said during the 70-minute conversation, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released excerpts of the discussion to reporters.