(U.S. Army photo)

Back in December 2018, the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee confidently assured reporters that Congress would prevent President Donald Trump from raiding the Defense Department's budget to pay for his border wall.

"It's a question that isn't really worth asking because the president will send up his budget and we'll see – and if there is wall funding in it, we'll all flip out and say, 'You can't do that,'" Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast.

As you beloved readers know by now, not only has the president successfully diverted funding for military construction and counter-narcotics operations to pay for the border wall, but the Defense Department is now sacrificing F-35s – once the ultimate golden calf – to help extend the wall another 177 miles.

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Soldiers deploy concertina wire in a location along the Southwest border of the United States near Hidalgo, Texas. U.S. Army North is deployed to the southwest border under the authority of U.S. Northern Command to support the Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection's mission to secure the border. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol)

The Defense Department has determined President Donald Trump's border wall is more important than the F-35s, ships, and drones.

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President Donald Trump speaks while participating in a tour of US-Mexico border wall prototypes near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

The Trump administration is preparing to divert $7.2 billion from the Pentagon's budget to fund the president's U.S.-Mexico border wall this year, according to a Washington Post report published Monday.

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Construction crews erect new border wall along the U.S.–Mexico border near Yuma, Arizona, August 20, 2019 (Customs and Border Patrol photo/Glenn Fawcett)

A federal judge in El Paso has issued a nationwide injunction against the Trump administration's use of military construction funds to build a border wall.

U.S. District Judge David Briones said in a memorandum filed Tuesday that funds appropriated by Congress to the Department of Defense for construction projects can't be diverted to build a border wall.

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Soldiers deploy concertina wire in a location along the Southwest border of the United States near Hidalgo, Texas. U.S. Army North is deployed to the southwest border under the authority of U.S. Northern Command to support the Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection's mission to secure the border. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol)

The Defense Department's Inspector General's Office has launched an "evaluation" of the deployment of active-duty and National Guard troops to the southern border, a news release said Tuesday.

"We will examine, among other issues, what they are doing at the border, what training they received, and whether their use complied with applicable law, DoD policy, and operating guidance," said Glenn Fine, the principal deputy inspector general performing the duties of the inspector general, in the release.

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AUSTIN, Texas — The 1,000 Texas National Guardsmen deployed to the southern border to aid with an influx of immigrants earlier this year will return home next week after the completion of their mission, Pentagon officials said.

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