On Wednesday, Donald Trump published a triumphant tweet supposedly showing “The Wall” under construction.
But as Buzzfeed quickly pointed out, this wasn’t Trump’s wall. In fact, the images Trump was waving around had nothing to do with any of his promises, or threats. What Trump was claiming as his, was actually just repair of a section of existing fence in Calexico, California. The funding, scheduling, and planning for these repairs was done in 2009. The fence is meant to replace an unsightly wall composed mostly from scrap metal that was built in the 1990s.
Better still, the photos that Trump used for his “start of the wall” tweet were actually from work that was done more than a month before he even signed the omnibus funding bill.
Best of all, Esquire points out that Trump is lying to cover up the fact that he still doesn’t have dollar one for building his wall.
President Trump secured just $1.6 billion in border security funding in the last spending bill, well short of the $25 billion-plus needed to realize his signature campaign promise. It will primarily go towards a fence—which Trump specifically promised would not be a substitute for his Big, Beautiful Wall—and just $38 million is available for “border barrier planning and design.”
So Trump was lying about it being the start of his wall. He was lying about it being the wall. And he was lying about being able to start on his wall. Not only has the wall not started, Trump is out of options.
The wall is the most visible part of Trump’s set of promises, and even his supporters are unlikely to be put off long by a picket fence authorized under President Obama.
Trump is feeling the heat. Failure to build The Wall may be the one thing that causes The Base to desert him. (President Business Deals echoed this himself when he begged the President of Mexico not to say in public they won't pay.)
That heat has Trump trying to steal money from the military.
After floating the notion to several advisers last week, he told House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that the military should pay for the wall, according to three people familiar with the meeting last Wednesday in the White House residence. Ryan offered little reaction to the notion, these people said, but senior Capitol Hill officials later said it was an unlikely prospect.
Again on Wednesday, Trump talked about how the wall “has started” how “beautiful” it is and reminded people to look at the pictures he posted on Wednesday. Pictures of a fence. Paid for, designed, planned, and scheduled before Trump appeared on the scene.
The truth is that Trump’s whole “Build that wall!” theme is just another of the quips floated, tested, and refined by Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica that Trump wandered on stage to say.
Where did the ideas that animated the candidate’s packed rallies — and juiced voter turnout in Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio — come from? “Build the wall!”? “Drain the swamp!”? “Crooked Hillary!”? “Deep state!”? Defining immigrants as violent gangs or murderous thugs? Painting American’s urban neighborhoods as crime-infested ratholes.
In a stunning week of revelations, we now know the answer. The core messages of the president’s underlying xenophobia and racism that animated his base didn’t emerge from the mind of “very stable genius” Trump (despite a long life of troubling racial attitudes). Instead, the nonstop undercurrent of hate toward The Other in American life was focus-grouped, computer-coded, deliberately amplified by a new ultra-right-wing media echo chamber and then targeted with cruise-missile precision at the handful of states that Trump won by roughly 100,000 votes to grab the Electoral Vote.
Now Trump has to face the fact that the wall he promised in every rally, debate, and commercial … has not a dime to start funding. So instead he’s just telling his supporters that the Big Beautiful Wall is underway and showing them pictures of a short length of fence that divides a road on Calexico. Because he has no respect for his supporters, and has every faith they’ll believe anything he tells them.
Trump should just use pictures of the border wall from the 2010 film, Monsters. It’s much more impressive — and it wouldn’t be any more of a lie.