President Donald Trump compared the wall he wants to build along the US-Mexico border with the protection at the Washington DC home of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
"President and Mrs Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their DC mansion/compound. I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security. The US needs the same thing, slightly larger version!" EFE news quoted Trump as saying on Sunday.
Trump made the comparison amid the controversy generated by his adamant demand for lawmakers to allocate $5 billion in the federal budget to build portions of the wall, a stance that led to a partial - and ongoing - shutdown of the government after consensus could not be reached on the matter by Republican and Democratic legislators.
Specifically, the partial shutdown affects some 25 per cent of the government, 10 government departments, including Transportation and Justice, as well as dozens of national parks, which normally are huge tourist attractions over any and all holidays.
Some 800,000 of the 2.1 million federal works have been idled and will not receive paychecks while their portions of the government remain closed due to lack of approved funding.
After the Obamas left the White House in January 2017, they leased a nine-bedroom, eight-bath home in the Kalorama neighbourhood, one of the capital's most select districts.
Built in the 1920s and renovated in 2011, the home has some 763 square meters (8,200 square feet) of floor space, rents for $22,000 per month and is valued at between $5.4 million and $6 million, according to the specialized real estate company Zillow.