MUNICH, Germany (CNN) – Defense Secretary Mark Esper is defending President Trump’s plan to divert billions of dollars in Pentagon funding for border wall construction.
The new plan puts money for Pentagon programs at risk, including multiple military aircraft programs.
Both parties have criticized the plan as unconstitutional.
After Congress rejected Trump’s request for border wall funding, he decided to go around them and take it from the Pentagon.
Esper said the action is legal and the decision reflects the White House’s prioritization of national security. He said, “I’d say this much: border security is national security and national security is our mission. I think many NATO allies understand that as well. The action we took is legal under the law. I think that should be no surprise and I’ll just leave it at that for now,”
Lawmakers from both parties disagree with Esper. Democrats say Trump is stealing money from the military. Republicans say the move reflects an executive branch overreach.