Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) said Friday during an interview with CNN that Mexico will not pay for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.
As a candidate for president, Trump suggested that a wall be constructed on the southern border to combat illegal immigration and asserted that Mexico would pay for it. As president, however, Trump has suggested having Congress pay for the wall and then having Mexico “reimburse” the United States for its construction.
McCain told CNN’s Manu Raju that Mexico paying for the wall is "not a viable option."
"If you only build a wall … without using technology, individuals, drones, observations, etc., you're not going to secure the border," McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate, said.
Raju asked McCain if it is a "viable option" for Mexico to pay for the wall, to which he replied, “No.”
Asked to elaborate why he said no, McCain added, “Because it’s not a viable option.”
McCain was also asked if taxpayers might have to pay for the wall.
“Taxpayers are paying a lot of money right now,” McCain replied. “One of the biggest problems we have is the enforcement of existing law.”
Will Mexico pay for the wall? "No," McCain said. "It's not a viable option." https://t.co/rmmEL91JD0
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 3, 2017
Estimates vary for how much the construction of such a wall would cost. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has estimated that the wall would cost between $12 billion to $15 billion to build.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly recently told Fox News that he hopes the wall will be completed "within the next two years."
CNN reported that the Trump administration is trying to "shore up support" for the wall behind the scenes, as Congressional Republicans "revolt" over the proposal, expressing concern over financing it.