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In an interview with Jim VandeHei for "Axios on HBO," acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan shrugged off concerns of smugglers cutting through and climbing over President Trump's border wall.

  • In a separate interview with Margaret Talev, director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli told "Axios on HBO" that while some may be able to break through, there at least isn't "entire swaths of the border now where they can come and go as they please."

The big picture: Trump had sought to make the wall impermeable to outsiders, but recent reports have shown smugglers cutting through the wall with saws and power tools. Morgan argued that "the wall was never designed to be that no one could ever, ever get through it," but instead to "give the Border Patrol agents an extra boost of operational capacity to get time to get to there."

  • The border wall is still under construction — largely held up by funding and bureaucratic hurdles.

What they're saying:

"The important thing we've been trying to get out to the American people: It's not just a wall. It's a wall system we need. And the wall system needs to be part of a multilayered strategy of infrastructure, personnel and technology. If you have all three of those and the right locations, the right amounts, then we will be successful."
— Mark Morgan to "Axios on HBO"
"The wall is working. I don't think anybody ever thought it would be indestructible. And none of us expect the cartels in particular to sit there and do nothing while we block their chosen paths of their corridors to move their products, whether they be people, drugs, weapons, what have you."
— Ken Cuccinelli to "Axios on HBO"

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have arrived at the Capitol. Members of congressional leadership and VIPs will soon be introduced. Watch a livestream here.

What's next: Biden and Harris will take their oaths of office. Shortly after, President Biden will deliver his inaugural address. What to expect.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Momentum builds for major antitrust reform

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's outgoing antitrust chief Makan Delrahim on Tuesday endorsed a proposal from House Democrats that would put new limits on acquisitions by large companies, during comments made at a Duke University event.

Why it matters: Momentum is building for major antitrust reform, updating rules that were written for railroads instead of routers.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.