President Donald Trump has repeated the campaign rallying cry that Mexico will pay for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border since at least 2015.
Earlier this week in a meeting with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, Trump claimed that he would “shut down the government” on Dec. 21 over border security if Congress does not approve $5 billion in funding for a border wall.
Following his heated demands, the president defaulted to his talking point that Mexico will pay for the wall, in a tweet on Thursday morning. Trump pointed to a new USMCA deal between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada and said, “MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!”
The president has made the claim on Twitter, in interviews, and at press conferences and campaign rallies at least 20 times since April 2015.
In April 2015, he said on Twitter that the U.S. would build the border wall and “deduct costs from Mexican foreign aid.” Just days later, he made the same demand in a tweet, while also peddling a false story about ISIS operating training camps near El Paso, Texas.
During his presidential announcement speech on June 16, 2015, Trump said, “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” Trump has fired up his supporters with the anti-immigrant talking point at a number of campaign rallies and in the press since then.
In August 2015, the Trump campaign released its position on immigration reform. Part of the platform was titled, “Make Mexico Pay For The Wall.” During an appearance with CBS’s Face the Nation, Trump doubled down on that policy, and said, “And, by the way, Mexico will pay for it. It’s going to be a great wall,” he added, because “I know how to build.”
In a tweet in January 2016, Trump praised political commentator Ann Coulter—who has platformed white nationalist talking points to her audience—and again said Mexico would pay for the wall.
Months later, in September he tweeted a clip from a campaign rally in Phoenix during which he again said Mexico would pay for a border wall. Within just a few hours, Trump tweeted about the border wall a second time.
In February 2016, he told supporters at a campaign rally in Florida that the “wall just got 10 feet higher” after the former Mexican president said the country would not pay for the wall.
He made the claim during a MSNBC town hall in March 2016. During a Republican retreat in January 2017 in Philadelphia, days after taking office, Trump said the U.S. “will generate revenue from Mexico that will pay for the wall.” He said the same during a joint press conference with the President Sauli Niinistö of Finland in August 2017.
At least five other times, the president said Mexico would pay for the wall in various tweets on Jan. 6, 2017, and Jan. 8, 2017. He made the claim again on Twitter in April 2017, and then in August 2017, and January 2018.
Despite the president’s continued claims that Mexico will pay for a border wall, most Americans don’t see the border wall as a priority.