“First off, we’re going to pay for it and front the money up,” Ryan said. “But I do think that there are various ways -- as you know, I know your follow-up question is, is Mexico going to pay for the wall? There are a lot of different ways of getting Mexico to contribute to doing this. And there are different ways of defining how, exactly they pay for it.”
Later in the afternoon, however, Spicer and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told reporters that the proposal was in fact just one of several options the White House was considering, including a border tax in the range of 5 - 20 percent. “It is part of a buffet of options,” White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told reporters, according to CBS News’ Margaret Brennan.
Trump strategist Steve Bannon tells media to “keep its mouth shut”
In an interview with The New York Times published Thursday, Stephen Bannon said that the media is the “opposition party” of the new administration and “should be embarrassed and humiliated” by the unanticipated election result.
The article cites Bannon as referring to himself at one point as “Darth Vader.”
GOP retreat in Philadelphia
Mr. Trump headed up to Philadelphia to visit the Republican House and Senate retreat. He began by ribbing Republican leaders about their pre-Trump electoral losses and then touched on a number of topics, including his executive actions.
He assured the American people that they “will not pay for the wall.” And he said he’s working on a tax reform bill that would include making Mexico foot the bill for the wall “if we decide to go that route.”
Mr. Trump also commented on the executive order he signed on immigration Wednesday, saying that it means the “immediate removal of criminal aliens” and “cracking down on sanctuary cities.”
Chelsea Manning is “ungrateful TRAITOR”
President Trump blasted Chelsea Manning in an early morning tweet Thursday, calling the convicted Army leaker an “ungrateful TRAITOR” who he said should “never have been released from prison.”
The president also charged that Manning had called former President Obama a “weak leader,” though the transgender soldier -- whose prison commutation was one of Mr. Obama’s last acts in the Oval Office -- didn’t exactly say that.
The president will be signing an executive action today at 4:30 p.m. (canceled)
“It will be a follow up on the announcement yesterday of his commitment to better understand voter fraud, faulty registration, etcetera,” Spicer told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday, CBS News Steven Portnoy reports.
President Trump said in an interview airing Wednesday that he has asked intelligence officials about the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on terror suspects. The answer he’s received: Torture “works.”
The math doesn’t add up for Mr. Trump’s claims of pipeline jobs. As he signed executive actions Tuesday advancing the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, he remarked it would mean 28,000 jobs – “great construction jobs.”
Two Executive Orders, including border wall
President Trump signed two executive orders during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security. The first executive order calls for the construction of a “large physical barrier on the southern border,” while the second reinstates the Secure Communities Program, which Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to “target illegal immigrants for removal.” It also directs the State Department to withhold visas or take other measures to ensure countries take back deported undocumented immigrants and also strips federal grant money from sanctuary cities that harbor undocumented immigrants.
Mr. Trump told ABC News that construction of the wall will begin in “months.” “As soon as we can, as soon as we can physically do it,” he told ABC News in an interview. “I would say in months, yeah. I would say in months -- certainly planning is starting immediately.”
Sanctuary cities were also targeted in that executive order -- it said it would withhold federal grant money from sanctuary cities. What is a sanctuary city and how might those cities be affected by the order?
Investigating voter fraud claims
Rather than backing away from roundly debunked claims of widespread voter fraud, Mr. Trump on Wendesday tweeted a promise to launch an investigation into the massive voter fraud he belives robbed him of the popular vote. Republicans and Democrats have been unusually aligned on dismissing the premise of the fraud Mr. Trump alleges took place.
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