Build the wall: the pledge defining Trump's presidency

An aerial view of US President Donald Trump's border wall prototypes seen from Tijuana, Mexico, before their demolition (AFP Photo/Guillermo Arias) (AFP/File)

Washington (AFP) - Building a wall on the border with Mexico has been a central plank of US President Donald Trump's political platform, both as a candidate and since taking office.

While Trump's message on the wall -- including how it will be paid for and what form it will take -- has changed, his commitment to it has not, with the president going so far as partially shuttering the government to push for its constuction.

Here are some statements -- tweets unless otherwise stated -- that Trump has made about the promise that is playing a defining role in his presidency:

- US needs a wall -


-- August 2014

"For those that don't think a wall (fence) works, why don't they suggest taking down the fence around the White House? Foolish people!"

-- August 2015

"I campaigned on Border Security, which you cannot have without a strong and powerful Wall. Our Southern Border has long been an 'Open Wound,' where drugs, criminals (including human traffickers) and illegals would pour into our Country. Dems should get back here an fix now!"

-- December 2018

- Easy, timeless solution -

Reporter: "How are you going to build a 1,900-mile wall?"

Trump: "Very easy. I'm a builder. That's easy. I build buildings that are -- can I tell you what's more complicated? What's more complicated is building a building that's 95 stories tall. Okay?"

— News conference in Iowa, August 2015

"Throughout the ages some things NEVER get better and NEVER change. You have Walls and you have Wheels. It was ALWAYS that way and it will ALWAYS be that way!"

-- December 2018

- Mexico will pay -

"And, you know, we're building a wall. And it's going to be a great wall. Okay? And, by the way, Mexico will pay for it. It's going to be a great wall, because I do -- I know how to build."

-- to CBS News' August 2015

"Mexico will pay for the wall!"

-- September 2016

- Mexico will pay (indirectly) -

"So, let's say it costs $4 or $5 billion. Our trade deficit with Mexico is $53 billion. So $4 or $5 billion is peanuts."

-- speech in Dallas, September 2015

"With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, we must have THE WALL. Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other."

-- August 2017

"MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL through the many billions of dollars a year that the U.S.A. is saving through the new Trade Deal, the USMCA."

-- December 2018

- Congress will pay (for now) -

"The Democrats and President Obama gave Iran 150 Billion Dollars and got nothing, but they can't give 5 Billion Dollars for National Security and a Wall?"

-- December 2018

"$5.6 Billion Dollars that House has approved is very little in comparison to the benefits of National Security. Quick payback!"

-- January 2019

- Solar, concrete or steel? -

"We're thinking about building the wall as a solar wall so it creates energy and pays for itself and this way Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that's good, right? Is that good?"

-- June 2017

"The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it."

-- January 2018

"The Democrats, are saying loud and clear that they do not want to build a Concrete Wall - but we are not building a Concrete Wall, we are building artistically designed steel slats, so that you can easily see through it."

-- December 2018

"An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media."

-- December 2018