Trump Tells Aides ‘Take the Land’ as Impatience Grows on Border Wall – The New York Times

Now, as he faces a jittery stock market, battles the Federal Reserve over interest rates and refuses to back down from his trade war with China, Mr. Trump is impatient to showcase a success story to his supporters ahead of the 2020 election.

Inside the White House, the president’s aides say he is doing what he can to deliver on the promise, and quickly. In a statement, Hogan Gidley, a deputy White House spokesman, said that the account amounted to “more false fabrications by people who hate the fact the status quo, that has crippled this country for decades, is finally changing as President Trump is moving quicker than anyone in history to build the wall, secure the border, and enact the very immigration policies the American people voted for.”

But what White House officials have walked back as lighthearted suggestions in the past have proved true. In April, Mr. Trump asked Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, to close the southwestern border to migrants, suggesting he could issue a pardon if he encountered any legal trouble. At the time, White House officials said the president might have been joking.

Since his candidacy, Mr. Trump has been deeply engaged on the topic of the border wall, both because it was easy for him to remember in campaign speeches and because he enjoyed how the concept excited his supporters at rallies. He has also repeatedly defended getting the task accomplished through land seizures known as declarations of eminent domain, a concept that has rattled people living or working on land eyed for potential border wall building.

“Eminent domain is very interesting,” Mr. Trump said in a speech in January in the Rose Garden. “But without eminent domain, you wouldn’t have any highways, you wouldn’t have any schools, you wouldn’t have any roadways. What we’re doing with eminent domain is, in many cases, we’ll make a deal upfront.”

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