President Donald Trump has proposed his border wall with Mexico could be lined with solar panels.
Mr Trump was rallying his supporters at a Make America Great Again rally in Iowa on Wednesday night (US time) where he basked in the glow of political wins after months of negative reports.
At the rally, he suggested the border wall, designed to stop undocumented immigration between Mexico and the US, could pay for itself.
“We are thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy and pays for itself,” the President said.
“And this way Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that’s good.”
He suggested solar panels could look “beautiful” and said: “Pretty good imagination, right? It’s my ideas.”
— Bloomberg (@business) June 22, 2017
But the idea may be not that new. Mr Trump first raised the possibility in a meeting with congressional leaders earlier this month, Politico reported at the time, citing unnamed sources.
He had campaigned on the promise Mexico would pay for the proposed wall – a plan Mexico has vehemently rejected.
The wall, which was a core campaign promise, has not been at the centre of the White House’s agenda since the election of Mr Trump, and the funding for which has been thus far rejected by Congress.
About 6000 supporters turned up at the Cedar Rapids arena on Wednesday night, five months into Mr Trump’s presidency which has been plagued by investigations of alleged Russian meddling into the election and approval ratings that are still below 40 per cent in most polls.
In a fierce and defiant display, Mr Trump attempted to quash the frequent criticism of his presidency that he had not achieved enough in office, and highlighted jobs gains and improving share markets as evidence of the efficacy of his presidency.
“History is written by the dreamers, not the doubters,” Mr Trump said, while blaming the Democrats for being “obstructionists” and “unbelievably nasty” for blocking measures.
Mr Trump called for bipartisan support to work on healthcare and criticised the Democrats for “making it a little bit hard to get their support”.
“But who cares,” Mr Trump continued.
He appeared to go off-script to explain why he hired people like Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs CEO, as his chief economic adviser.
“I love all people, rich or poor. But in those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense?” Mr Trump said.
Mr Trump could arguably be seen to be riding high after winning two special elections in the states of Georgia and South Carolina on Tuesday – states which the Democrats had fought hard and spent big to win.
That brings to five, the number of special elections won by Republicans since the Inauguration and, while they were all strong Republican seats, the Democrats expected to do better.
“All we do is win, win, win,” Mr Trump told the cheering crowd in Iowa on Wednesday.
He claimed the victories were an endorsement of his record.
The wins came as Mr Trump’s presidency continues to navigate the controversy arising from dual inquiries into alleged Russian interference with the election last year.
Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2017