Trump visits eight towering prototypes for proposed wall with Mexico

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US President Donald Trump inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego, California on March 13, 2018. (AFP PHOTO: MANDEL NGAN)

Donald Trump is on his first official trip to California since he became president 14 months ago. There’s no love lost between Trump and the Golden State, which voted overwhelming for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. His two goals for this trip: visit the U.S.-Mexico border to view prototypes for the wall and attend a Republican fundraiser.

CGTN’s May Lee reports.

The president’s first stop was the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego, where he got a first-hand look at eight prototypes for a new wall between the two countries… one of his major campaign promises.

“We have a lousy wall over here now, but at least it stops 90 to 95 percent,” said Trump. “When we put up the real wall, we’re gonna stop 99 percent, maybe even more than that.”

The estimated cost of building the wall is $15 billion, but there still is no approved budget and the president still vows Mexico will pick up the bill.

His visit to California comes at a heated time between the Golden State and the Trump administration. Last week, the Justice Department announced it will be suing the state for resisting federal immigration laws. Governor Jerry Brown immediately struck back.

“I’ll tell you, this lawsuit, they’re talking about going to the Supreme Court, this lawsuit’s going to last a lot longer than the Trump Administration,” Brown said.

The verbal jousting continued Tuesday at the border with President Trump hitting back.

“I think Governor Brown has done a very poor job running California. They have the highest taxes in the United States. The place is totally out of control. You have sanctuary cities where you have criminals living in the sanctuary cities.” said Trump.

Protesters on both sides of the issue were out in full force at the border.

“Having a border that’s strong… it means that we have the control, we’re taking the control back as citizens, and we’re going to be the ones that benefit from this country and not outsiders,” one Trump supporter said.

An anti-Trump protester with childhood ties to Tijuana didn’t hold back on his ill-will booing at the president as his motorcade drove by. When CGTN tried to speak with him on camera, Trump supporters yelled “Go back to Mexico”.

The next leg of Trump’s brief visit to California is an exclusive Republican fundraiser in Beverly Hills. People paid up to $225 thousand per person to attend. The event is expected to raise $5 million, but protesters are also out in full force and security is on high alert.