President Trump stood by his campaign promise to build a wall along the southern border Thursday, telling reporters: “Walls work — just ask Israel.”
Trump made the remarks at a White House press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Santos was asked about comments Trump made in his remarks when he cited his proposed border wall as an important tool to stop drugs from coming into America.
Santos avoided discussing the wall directly and instead pointed to areas where the U.S. and Colombia were working together.
“I believe the best way to fight drug trafficking is by collaborating,” Santos said. “It is a world problem and we have to all work together. We declared the war on drugs 40 years ago… and it’s a war that has not been won, so we must be more effective and more efficient.”
He pointed to a number of areas the U.S. and Colombia are working together to fight the international drug trade and said that they had agreed to double down on that commitment in the meeting at the White House.
“By working together we can be much more effective and that was the commitment we ratified this afternoon,” he said.
Trump, however, was much more direct in his answer.
“That was a long and a very diplomatic answer to your question,” Trump joked.
“I will say it a little bit shorter — walls work, just ask Israel,” he said. “They work, believe me, they work, and we have no choice.”
Trump was referring to the multiple barriers Israel has set up along its border to combat both the influx of terrorists and illegal immigration. Israel’s borders are frequently heralded as proof that such barriers can in fact work.
In January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his support of Trump’s policy and pointed to the wall along Israel’s southern border as proof of success.
President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea 🇱🇺🇸
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 28, 2017
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