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Trump: $6.1 billion in DoD money going to border wall wasn’t for anything that seemed ‘too important to me’
President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."
Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"We had certain funds that are being used at the discretion of generals, at the discretion of the military," Trump said during a White House press conference. "Some of them haven't been allocated yet, and some of the generals think that this is more important.
"I was speaking to a couple of them. They think this is far more important than what they were going to use it for. I said, 'What are you going to use it for?' And I won't go into details, but it didn't sound too important to me."
Of the money being reprogrammed from the Defense Department, $3.6 billion was meant to fund military construction projects and the remaining $2.5 billion comes from counter-narcotics funding, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters.
None of the money comes from the Army Corps of Engineers' funding for hurricane reconstruction projects in Puerto Rico or Texas, Mulvaney said during a conference call before the president's speech.
It was not immediately clear which military construction projects would be affected by the president's move.
"We will be looking at lower priority military construction projects," a senior administration official said during the conference call. "We will be looking at ones that are to fix or repair particular facilities that might be to wait a couple of months into next year. We're going through a filter to ensure that nothing impacts lethality, readiness on the part of our military construction budget – which is a budget that is substantially larger than $3.6 billion."
The Defense Department will be reimbursed for the $6.1 billion in the fiscal 2020 budget, a senior administration official said. The money will go toward building 284 miles of barriers on the southwestern border.
Trump argued that the money being reprogrammed for the border wall represents a small fraction of the $700 billion and $716 billion that Congress appropriated for the Defense Department in fiscals 2018 and 2019 respectively.
The president added that his proposed fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which should be presented to Congress in March, will be "pretty big too."
"When you think about the kind of numbers you're talking about – so you have $700 billion, $716 billion – when I need $2 billion, $3 billion out of that for a wall, which is a very important instrument – very important for the military, because of the drugs that pour in … when you have that kind of money going into the military, this is a very, very small amount that we're asking for."
WATCH NEXT: US-Mexico Border Wall Time-Lapse
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.
The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.
We salute the foul-mouthed Navy vet remembered as 'the most inappropriate guy with the biggest heart'
Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.
"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.
The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.
Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.
A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.
William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.
He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.
Reuters) - Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, was killed in a U.S. counter-terrorism operation, the White House said on Saturday.