In a tweet on Friday, Trump criticized the media and said US taxpayers may foot the initial bill for the proposed wall along the southern border; however, he insisted that Mexico will fund it in the end.
“The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!” the president-elect said.
Reports said that the Trump transition team had signaled to the Republicans in Congress to fund the border wall project through federal tax dollars and other appropriations as early as April.
The team argued that the the multibillion-dollar Secure Fence Act, authorizing the construction of a 700-mile "physical barrier" on the border, had already been ratified during the administration of former president George W. Bush and only needed funding to proceed.
Trump's senior aide, Kellyanne Conway, said the president-elect would not renege on his campaign promise to force Mexico to pay for the wall.
"Nothing has changed from our perspective. Congress is taking it on themselves to explore different options to pay for the wall," Conway said in an interview with CBS News.
"Obviously, we respect federalism, and if Congress is trying to find different ways to fund this project that is a top priority of President(-elect) Trump, then they should do that," she added.
Trump, who is to assume office on January 20, has repeatedly pledged to build a wall along the Southern border to prevent more Mexicans from entering the US illegally, and has promised to have Mexico cover the cost of the construction of his proposed wall.
He has also called illegal Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, and has vowed to deport some 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows in the United States.
Trump border wall a 'racist monument'
The president-elect’s Friday tweet comes as Mexico has already dismissed any plans to pay for the border wall.
The tweet made former Mexican President Vicente Fox react by saying, "Trump may ask whoever he wants, but still neither myself nor Mexico are going to pay for his racist monument. Another promise he can't keep."
Fox had previously called Trump "crazy" and used an expletive to lash out against Trump’s demand for Mexico to pay for a border wall.
"I am not going to pay for that [expletive] wall. He should pay for it. He's got the money,” he said.
In September last year, Enrique Pena Nieto, the incumbent Mexican president, also flatly rejected Trump’s proposal on the construction of US-Mexico border wall and its payment by his country.