In his argument in favor of a border wall, Donald Trump claimed that even Barack and Michelle Obama built a 10-foot wall around their home in Chicago.
Neighbors — and all available pictures of the home — say that isn’t true.
Trump made the claim this weekend in a series of tweets demanding funding for a border wall and disputing reports from his outgoing chief of staff saying that Trump gave up on plans for a physical wall. As the Washington Post noted, Trump claimed that the former president and first lady have essentially fortified their “D.C. mansion/compound.”
“President and Mrs. Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound,” Trump tweeted on Sunday afternoon. “I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security. The U.S. needs the same thing, slightly larger version!”
But pictures of the 8,200-square-foot home show only a short brick wall surrounding the edge of the property, and neighbors told the Washington Post that there was no wall at all. In fact, the home was no different than any others in the neighborhood, one nearby resident told the newspaper.
“There’s a fence that goes along the front of the house, but it’s the same as the other neighbors have,” the neighbor said. “It’s tastefully done.”
Neighbors added that there are no plans to build such a large wall, either.
After leaving the White House, the Obamas moved into the $8.1 million mansion in the city’s Kalorama neighborhood, where a number of former presidents have also lived and where Donald Trump’s own daughter, Ivanka, now lives.
Despite Trump’s tweet, there’s no 10’ fence around the Obama’s DC home. “A neighbor, a longtime resident of the area...said Trump ‘has a very active imagination.’” https://t.co/CZNwf7vjeu— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) December 31, 2018
The home is surrounded by a retaining wall, but the Washington Post’s Fact Checker noted that it was built to accommodate the needs of the Secret Service officers who will guard the Obama family. The newspaper reached out to the Secret Service for comment but did not get a reply.
Donald Trump has ramped up his demands for a border wall, which has now led to a government shutdown stretching more than a week. Though Trump had initially indicated he would sign a bipartisan funding measure to keep the government open, he abruptly reversed course last week after sharp criticism from right-wing media outlets for going back on his pledge to build a border wall. Trump has demanded that any measure to keep the government open also includes funding for the wall, though Democrats have said they will not provide it for him.