Although President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he will force Mexico to pay American taxpayers to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the reality seems to be that the president will pay for it in part by gutting the budget of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Reacting to the news that Trump’s budget calls for $1.3 billion in cuts to the Coast Guard — or more than 14% of the entire Coast Guard operating budget — Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) slammed the president for putting out such a “nonsensical” proposal.
He noted that the Coast Guard is already operating on a $9 billion “shoestring” budget, and noted that it’s responsible for doing many of the things that the president said were important campaign priorities.
“You have President Trump talking about security, criminal networks — that’s what the Coast Guard does, literally!” Hunter explained during a CNN interview on Wednesday. “So how can the president talk about… stopping illegal immigration, illegal drugs, and criminal narco networks, and then say we’re going to cut the military and cut the Coast Guard.”
Hunter then noted that Trump’s seeming obsession with securing the U.S.-Mexico border overlooked all the other ways that drugs can flow into the country.
“The way you stop bad things from happening here is not directly on the border, necessarily,” he said. “So this is nonsensical to me.”
Watch the video below.
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) March 8, 2017