- The Washington Times - Monday, August 28, 2017

President Trump stood firm Monday on his threat to shut down the government if congressional Democrats block funding for a wall on the border with Mexico, saying the wall was crucial to U.S. security and stopping the flow of illegal drugs.

Mr. Trump said he hoped a shutdown wouldn’t be necessary. “We’ll have to see,” he said.

“The wall is needed from the standpoint of security. the wall is needed from the standpoint of drugs — the tremendous drug scourge,” Mr. Trump said at a White House press conference.

“We will build the wall and we will stop a lot of things including the drugs, the drugs are pouring in at levels nobody has ever seen. We will be able to stop them once the wall is up,” he said.

The wall was a top campaign promise for Mr. Trump but he now faces solid resistance from Senate Democrats, who could block funding for the project despite Republican control of the both chambers of Congress.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump promoted the wall mostly as a way to stop illegal immigrants but at the press conference he stressed its value in combating the drug trade, as the country remains in the rip of an epidemic opioid and heroine addiction.

“You need the wall to do the rest and you need the wall for the drugs. The drugs are a tremendous problem,” said Mr. Trump. “It will greatly help with the drug problem and ultimately that’s a good thing with Mexico also.”

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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