US President Donald Trump visiting a section of the US-Mexico border wall in Otay Mesa, California, US [File: Tom Brenner/Reuters]

The United States Defense Department sent Congress a request to shift nearly four billion dollars from the military budget to pay for a wall on the border with Mexico, a central promise of President Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House four years ago and bid this year for a second term.

Legislators said they received a request on Thursday to reprogramme more than $3.8bn from funding for the National Guard and weapons programmes, setting the stage for a possible confrontation with Democrats.

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Democratic aides said $1.5bn would come from the National Guard, and the rest from funds for procurement, including the

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