Chris Ruddy, CEO of the conservative Newsmax media company, said the recent sharp decline in illegal immigrants crossing the border may eliminate the need for a physical "wall" that was promised by President Trump.
In an op-ed published Thursday by the New York Times, Ruddy, a Trump confidante, said that the president's hardline rhetoric in some policy areas may have shaken Democrats and some moderates of both parties, but that it has often rendered positive results.
"Mr. Trump has also used his White House platform to begin changing sclerotic domestic policies and politics," Ruddy wrote. "In shaking the tree, he is causing old leaves to fall even as healthy ones remain in place, still strong."
Trump's aggressive remarks on immigration, coupled with an increase in deportations, Ruddy said, may have also rendered one of the president's biggest campaign promises obsolete.
"The president's policies have created a virtual wall," he said, "one that may obviate the need for the $20 billion eyesore after all."
In recent weeks, the White House requested money from Congress that would go toward building the promised wall on the southern border, but Democrats said they would not pass a budget that included funding for it.
The White House, however, has maintained that it will erect some type of barrier at the border and Trump has continued to publicly state that a wall will go up at some point in his term.