President Trump applauded Mexico for sending more than 20,000 soldiers to help the U.S. border patrol guard the U.S.-Mexican border during a brief Q&A with reporters Wednesday in the Oval Office.
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS REPORTER: There was some concern voiced last week about reprogramming $115 million from the FEMA disaster relief fund base budget to this crisis on the border. Are you still comfortable with that?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Oh yeah, well, first of all, we are using much less here than we anticipated. We thought this was going to be a direct -- originally this was going to be a direct hit into Miami. We would have been satisfied, anyway.
No, we need help on the border. The numbers are really good. I want to think again the country of Mexico. They have 25,000 soldiers right now protecting our border. They have done a fantastic job, so we appreciate that very much.
Mexico has never helped us on the border, and they are now. 25,000 soldiers. You may want to talk about the numbers, they are down half, I guess. Do you want to mention that?
KEVIN MCALEENAN, ACTING DHS SECRETARY: Yes, we are compiling the august numbers now. We will release them early next week. We are looking at a reduction of over 50% from may until today, a continued partnership with Mexico. I just got back, Mr. President, from El Salvador last week or recite a new agreement to continue to work together on migration. So we are getting a lot of partnership from the countries in the region. With your leadership. Again, enhancing your security of the border.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So the wall is being built. It's going up rapidly. I guess it's -- most of you have been able to see, we are building very large sections of wall. A big factor was we just won the big Supreme Court case, as you know. We are building in different sections, different sections simultaneously.
We think by the end of next year, which will be sometime right after the election, we think we are going to have close to 500 miles of wall which will be complete. That will be what we wanted to do, about 500 miles that wil take care of all the areas we wanted, including some of the marginal areas that we didn't necessarily need, but if we could have gotten it done, we were looking to do about 500 miles. We should have it almost completed if not complete by the end of next year. So we are looking forward to that.
REPORTER: Have you consulted with members of Congress about reprogramming -- can we ask, what you told them?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I didn't tell them anything. The Secretary of Defense spoke with members of congress and explained it to them. I think he felt very good about it. He feels that the national security problem. I do, too. It is, when you have thousands of people trying to rush our country. I think that's national security. When you have drugs pouring into our country, I view that as national security. He had very good conversations with various members of Congress.
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