The government shutdown is currently showing no signs of ending, and a negotiation aimed at ending the impasse quickly fell apart Wednesday when President Trump stormed out of a negotiating session with Democratic congressional leaders. The president maintains that building a wall is necessary to stop what he calls a crisis at the border.
Now, a new report has raised questions about whether the wall would accomplish all the president says it would.
NBC News reported Thursday that the prototype of a steel slat-based wall proposed by the president can be easily cut with a saw. The report, from Jacob Soboroff and Julia Ainsley, found that when the Department of Homeland Security tested the prototype in 2017, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection later issued a report stating that “experts from the Marine Corps were instructed to attempt to destroy the barriers with common tools,” a task at which they succeeded.
The network also obtained a photo of the slats after they were sawed through. And the report stated that all of the other proposed prototypes were breachable as well. KPBS reported a similar conclusion last fall, although it did not obtain a photo.
The president, in 2017, ordered the construction of several prototypes for the wall, and he inspected them in southern California in the spring of 2018. Trump ultimately settled on the steel slat design when he made a renewed push for the wall this month.
Testing by DHS in late 2017 showed all 8 prototypes, including the steel slats, were vulnerable to breaching, according to an internal February 2018 U.S. Customs and Border Protection report. https://t.co/SNxn6YneG9
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 10, 2019
President Trump is unlikely to be moved by a report from NBC News, as he is currently feuding with the network. The president tweeted Wednesday night that “the Mainstream Media has NEVER been more dishonest than it is now. NBC and MSNBC are going Crazy. They report stories, purposely, the exact opposite of the facts. They are truly the Opposition Party working with the Dems. May even be worse than Fake News CNN, if that is possible.” NBC, of course, is the network that partnered with Trump for many years when he hosted The Apprentice.
This was in reaction to details of an off-the-record meeting Trump held with network news anchors later appearing in print, with the New York Times reporting that Trump had admitted in the meeting that he had doubts that Tuesday night’s Oval Office address was a good idea. It’s far from clear, however, that the leak of the meeting came from the anchors and not from White House staffers who were present.