The Slatest

Donald Trump Finally Reveals How Much His Very Attractive Wall Will Cost

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at his Iowa Caucus night gathering February 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Donald Trump finally revealed how much his big, beautiful wall between the U.S. and Mexico would cost in an interview on MSNBC earlier this week.

Trump said his wall would be 35 to 40 feet high, and would cost $8 billion, a “very simple number,” according to Trump, which “is a tiny fraction of the money that we lose with Mexico,” he said, referring to an imaginary “astronomical” trade deficit with Mexico. (There’s a deficit, but it’s not astronomical: $58.4 billion in 2015 vs. $365.7 billion with China in 2015.)


“It’s going to look as good as a wall is going to look…. And we’re going to have big, beautiful doors and people are going to come into the country.”

Here’s how Trump breaks it up, in Trump-math:


We have 2,000 miles … and of the 2,000 we don’t need 2,000, we need a thousand because we have natural barriers, etc., etc., and I’m taking a price per square foot and a price per mile, and it’s a very simple calculation.

Remember, this cost will be passed along to Mexico, Trump says. Back in August, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto said Mexico is of course not paying for the wall, and on Monday, former Mexican president Felipe Calderon also told CNBC, “Mexico will not pay a single cent for such a stupid wall.”

During Tuesday’s interview, when Trump reiterated that Mexico would be the happy sponsor for the wall, Tamron Hall pressed him. “But how do you get Mexico to pay for it?”

“It’s very simple,” Trump continued. “You tell Mexico they’re going to pay for it.”

Read more of Slate’s coverage of the GOP primary.