Trump Says Border Wall Will Be 35 Feet High

     AUSTIN, Texas (CN) — Donald Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in a town hall meeting Tuesday that he would not back down on his pledge to build a wall on the Mexican border, and that the wall will be 35 to 40 feet high.
     A block-long line to get into the event at the ACL Live at Moody Theater in downtown Austin led through high-level security at the upstairs entrance.
     Vendors with Trump caps and T-shirts sold their wares outside, as did a vocal group of protesters. The Travis County Democratic Party organized a Love Trumps Hate day of protest for Trump’s visit.
     Protesters’ signs included “We Don’t Take Kindly To Bigotry Here,” and “Kick Yourself Out You’re An Immigrant Too.” Other signs were of the four-letter variety.
     Upstairs sections of the 2,750-person capacity theater were empty throughout the taping, though organizers said the event was sold out.
     An event official warned potential protesters that any outbursts or interruptions would be cut from the tape.
     Hannity took the stage at around 4 p.m. to a standing ovation and said the focus of the meeting would be immigration. He said there were “no rules” for the taping and encouraged boos or cheers.
     Hannity called the news media “biased” and “bigoted” and said they would not be allowed into the theater. Then he welcomed Trump to the stage for a taped intro shot with the crowd chanting, “Trump, Trump, Trump,” “USA, USA, USA” and “Build the wall!” Trump took in the chants for a while before leaving the stage.
     Whipping up the crowd, Hannity said that the United States spent more than $100 billion annually to fight illegal immigration and that more than 800,000 illegal immigrants were convicted criminals.
     He said that while Trump is willing to discuss immigration with him, Hillary Clinton’s campaign “has not gotten back” to him about doing an interview.
     Trump then took the stage again and Hannity asked if he would build a wall to stop illegal immigration.
     Trump replied: “Yes. One hundred percent.” This despite many news reports over the weekend that Trump was hedging on his immigration stance, apparently in an effort to gain support in the general election, where voters are generally less extreme than those in the primaries.
     When Hannity remarked that Jeb Bush said Trump would never build a well, boos rang out from the crowd.
     Hannity asked whether Trump planned to send everybody back across the border if they are undocumented, as opposed to only those convicted of crimes, and Trump responded: “We will follow the laws of this country. We have very strong laws.”
     Hannity brought onstage mothers who said their children had been injured or killed by illegal immigrants, some of whom had been deported multiple times. The mothers blamed the federal government for the deaths: One said that federal judges refuse to deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes.
     (Actually, the Obama administration has deported more than 2.5 million people — more than 20 percent more than the George W. Bush administration, according to government statistics.)
     Trump brought cheers from the crowd by saying the children have not died in vain and that he will not let it happen to others once he is elected president.
     Small protests broke out on a few occasions towards the middle of the taping, though they were fairly tame. One man, who held out his middle finger to the crowd of Trump supporters, left quickly with minimal police intervention.
     In another instance, as Hannity was citing more numbers on immigrants and crime, chants of “Black Lives Matter” interrupted him. He responded with “All Lives Matter,” and the crowd joined in.
     A woman holding what appeared to be a voodoo doll interrupted the discussion at one point before being escorted out.
     After a break, Hannity and Trump lashed Hillary Clinton for the emails she sent and received through a private server when she was secretary of state.
     Hannity said that half of the people Secretary Clinton met with were donors and asked Trump if she had sold access to her office.
     Trump seemed to agree, saying: “If you trace it back, they got plenty.”
     He said he looked forward to the three televised debates with Clinton, and the crowd cheered.
     After another break, Hannity quizzed Trump again on his plans for a wall.
     Trump said the wall would be 35 to 40 feet high.
     He said he also wants to get rid of sanctuary cities, some of which tell their police not to routinely turn people over to immigration officials.
     Hannity asked Trump whether he would kick out all illegal immigrants, or just the “bad ones.”
     Trump surveyed the crowd. “The bad ones, the gang members?” he asked.
     “Out!” the crowd yelled.
     “The ones who have been here 20 years,” he asked. “Do we throw them out or work with them?”
     The crowd applauded.
     Hannity interjected: “So you’re saying there will be some flexibility?”
     “Everybody agrees we get the bad ones out,” Trump said. “People feel that throwing out a family that has been here a long time is a tough thing.”
     After another break, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani came onstage. Perry complained that the Obama administration has not put resources in the right places on the border. Perry said that most of the crime occurs on a certain stretch of the border.
     Giuliani touted his success in reducing crime in New York City.
     Hannity then brought onstage some officials with Customs and the Border Patrol, who said they supported Trump
     Donald Trump Jr. then took the stage and praised his father for giving his employees opportunities he said they would not have elsewhere.
     The final guest, conservative commentator A.J. Delgado, said it was an “honor” to support Trump and that illegal immigration hurts working-class Latinos, bringing cheers from Hispanic supporters in the audience.
     Trump then headed to a high-dollar fundraiser and then another rally in front of thousands in far east Austin.
     Protests continued outside as the Trump supporters filed out of the theater flanked by Austin police. A woman shouted “Racists go home!” as the crowd dispersed.

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