Trump seeking only $1.6 billion for border wall in 2018

President Trump's proposed 2018 budget asks for only $1.6 billion for a proposed border wall, far short of the money needed to build one and even less than what the president asked for just a few months ago.

The White House has drastically scaled back demands for funds to construct a border wall, seeking $1.6 billion in the budget headed for Congress on Tuesday – $2.5 billion less than announced just two months ago.

And there is still no plan to force Mexico to pay for the project as the president vowed throughout the campaign.

The Trump budget blueprint rolled out in mid-March called for $2.6 billion toward wall construction by the end of 2018. The stopgap budget that runs through Sept. 30 includes $1.5 billion for border security. But in cutting the deal with Democrats, President Donald Trump dropped a demand to use any of those funds for new barrier construction along the Southwest border.

Even so, John Czwartacki, communications director for the Office of Management and Budget, insisted that the White House is seeking exactly as much for wall construction in 2018 as it planned to seek two months ago.

It's exactly the same amount!  What a relief!

Late Monday, Czwartacki argued that the $2.6 billion cited in the mid-March budget blueprint was never intended to be spent only on physical barriers.

So when Trump asked for $2.6 billion earlier, it wasn't for construction of a wall.  I'm glad Czwartacki cleared that up!

"The president is serious about the wall and he's going to build a wall," he said, adding, "There's been no shift."

But [budget director] Mulvaney and other administration officials repeatedly cited $4.1 billion as the target for spending on a border wall through the end of 2018.

There's been no shift!

Exit questions:

1) At what point in time will this administration no longer be able to fool its supporters into believing that it intends to build a border wall?

2) If you believe that this border wall will still be built, when do you think Mexico will start paying for it?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at