In a tweet Thursday, the president contended that his stance on America's southern neighbor funding the wall "has never changed." He claimed his replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement would cause Mexico to pay the barrier "just by the money we save." It is unclear how the new trade deal would fund the wall, which carries a price tag of up to $25 billion.
With just over a week until funding for parts of the government lapses, Democratic leaders aimed to turn the president's statement against him. Two days after an on-camera spat where Trump said he would be "proud" to shut down the government, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would not approve any additional money for the border wall.
"Well, Mr. President, if you say Mexico is going to pay for the wall through NAFTA, which it certainly won't, then I guess we don't have to. Let's fund the government," the New York Democrat said Thursday on the Senate floor.