McConnell doesn't believe Mexico will pay for border wall

Posted at 10:03 AM, Mar 09, 2017

(CNN) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he does not believe Mexico will pay for a wall along the border, something President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised.

The Kentucky Republican was asked at a Politico Playbook event in Washington if he believes Mexico will fund the project aimed at blocking illegal immigration along the southern border.

"Uh, no," he told Politico's Jake Sherman before laughing.



McConnell said a wall is not the best way to secure some parts of the border.

"I'm in favor of border security," he said. "There are some places along the border where that's probably not the best way to secure the border."

But McConnell said he has confidence that Trump will heed his Homeland Security secretary's advice on the issue.

"I think Gen. (John) Kelly knows what he's doing and the President picked an outstanding person to be in charge of homeland security. And my suspicion is that the President will take his advice," he added.

The Trump administration plans to ask for a relatively small amount of money to start building Trump's long-promised border wall this year. According to preliminary numbers shared with CNN by a source familiar with the proposal, only $6.6 billion of a supplemental budget request will go toward border security -- and just $1 billion of that will be for the wall. An internal estimate considered by DHS put the cost of a wall at $21.6 billion.

Throughout the election and recently, Mexican officials have repeatedly said they will not pay for Trump's border wall despite the President's promise that Mexico would pay for it.