WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump pushed back early on Saturday on assertions that the wall he wants built on the US border with Mexico would cost more than anticipated and said he would reduce the price.
Trump made his comments in two Twitter posts but did not say how he would bring down the cost of the wall.
Reuters on Thursday published details of an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security that estimated the price of a wall along the entire border at $21.6 billion. During his presidential campaign Trump had cited a $12 billion figure.
"I am reading that the great border WALL will cost more than the government originally thought, but I have not gotten involved in the ... design or negotiations yet," Trump tweeted from his Florida resort, where he is hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"When I do, just like with the F-35 FighterJet or the Air Force One Program, price will come WAY DOWN!"
Trump, who took office on Jan. 20, said in late January that his administration had been able to cut some $600 million from a deal to buy about 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from Lockheed Martin. Defense analysts and sources downplayed news of those cuts, saying the discount hailed by Trump was in line with what had been flagged by Lockheed for months and would apply to other countries committed to the program.
A border wall to stem illegal immigration was one of Trump's main campaign promises. He has vowed to make Mexico reimburse the United States for its cost but Mexico has repeatedly said it will not do so.